Santa Fe Institute

Santa Fe Institute Mission and Vision


The Santa Fe Institute is a transdisciplinary research community that expands the boundaries of scientific understanding.  Its aim is to discover, comprehend, and communicate the common fundamental principles in complex physical, computational, biological, and social systems that underlie many of the most profound problems facing science and society today.


Many of society’s most pressing problems fall far from the confines of disciplinary research.  Complex problems require novel ideas that result from thinking about non-equilibrium and highly connected complex adaptive systems.  We are dedicated to developing advanced concepts and methods for these problems, and pursuing solutions at the interfaces between fields through wide-ranging collaborations, conversations, and educational programs.  SFI combines expertise in quantitative theory and model building with a community and infrastructure able to support cutting-edge, distributed and team-based science.  At the Santa Fe Institute, we are asking big questions that matter to science and society. 

Events News

A Mayan, a Roman, and a New Yorker walk into a bar… June 12, 2015 -

A diverse collection of social and natural scientists, archeologists, and historians are at SFI to share data and techniques for quantitatively comparing ancient and pre-modern cities.

Audio: Why goals, objectives, and metrics inhibit innovation June 11, 2015 -

In podcast interview on the Santa Fe Radio Café, SFI Sabbatical Visitor Ken Stanley discusses the role of serendipity in making great discoveries and the dangers of constraint by objective.

Watch Alan Lightman's SFI lecture on 'The World You Thought You Knew' May 28, 2015 -

In an SFI Community Lecture on May 6, novelist and physicist Alan Lightman offered his perspective on timeless topics such as God, science, the universe, and religious experiences. Watch his ...

Congrats to teacher Dave Brooks and ten high school seniors selected for SFI's High School Prize May 14, 2015 -

In a ceremony Wednesday evening in Santa Fe, SFI awarded science teacher Dave Brooks and ten high school seniors the Institute's 2015 High School Prize for Scientific Excellence.

Video: Watch Susan Murphy's SFI lecture on healing with data April 20, 2015 -

During an April 8 SFI Community Lecture in Santa Fe, statistician Susan Murphy showed how a healthcare decision approach that adapts treatment to each patient over time can improve patient ...

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