Santa Fe Institute

Santa Fe Institute Mission and Scientific Principles

The SFI Mission Statement

Searching for Order in the Complexity of Evolving Worlds

Scientific Principles of SFI

We find order in ubiquitous patterns that repeat throughout living nature: networks, conflict and cooperation, distributed decision making, the structured flow of energy, and elements of invention and novelty. These patterns are found at all scales, from the molecular, through tissues, individuals, technology, the economy, and cultures.

We seek to understand and unify these patterns of order through new ideas building upon evolutionary game theory, non-linear dynamics, out of equilibrium statistical mechanics, information theory, the theory of scaling of resource networks, robust design, non-traditional theories of computing, agent-based modeling, and formalisms
coupling adaptive information with sources of energy.

Our research domain is that of complexity: the evolved order inherent in the living world. We investigate complexity arising through the emergent laws and frozen accidents of deep history encompassing organic and cultural change.

We study biological worlds, social worlds, cultural worlds, technological worlds, and even possible counterfactual astrobiological worlds we have yet to encounter.

Our search for order in complexity takes place across a global research network without boundaries, without departments and without disciplines, providing intellectual nourishment, significant amplification of ideas and impact, and unification to all curious minds steeped in the rigors of logical, mathematical and computational
reasoning.

The SFI connects researchers driven by an insatiable desire to understand invisible mechanisms supporting evolving worlds, and to use this understanding to promote the wellbeing and future of life on earth.

Events News

SFI Community Lecture Tuesday: Lynda Barry on creativity May 27, 2016 -

Tuesday evening, May 31, in Santa Fe, artist and author Lynda Barry explores why we must write, draw, sing, and dance. Caution: This talk includes swear words, party tricks, and ...

Happening now at SFI: Working group seeks new algorithms for an old problem May 16, 2016 -

Deciding whether two symmetries are alike is a longstanding problem in group theory, the mathematical study of symmetry. This week at SFI, a working group meets to tackle the mathematical ...

Teacher Natalie Martino, 13 seniors recognized for scientific excellence May 9, 2016 -

In an evening ceremony last week at SFI, the Institute recognized teacher Natalie Martino and 13 Santa Fe-area high school seniors for scientific excellence.

Video: Carlos Castillo-Chavez on deadly lessons from emerging diseases May 6, 2016 -

On April 12, Carlos Castillo-Chavez unraveled the complex factors that fuel the spread of deadly diseases, and how we can use our knowledge of them to prevent future outbreaks. Watch ...

SFI to participate in unprecedented evolutionary research project April 8, 2016 -

A collaboration of international researchers, including four SFI scientists, has been awarded $8 million to extend our understanding of evolution.

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