Santa Fe Institute

Research News

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Working group tackles public health and health inequality
Sept. 30, 2014 -

Public health and health inequality are embedded in complex systems, and public health officials stand to gain from a complex systems approach, according to organizers of a working group being held this week at SFI.

SFI's 2014 Ulam Lectures: Jerry Sabloff on archaeology's lessons for the future
Sept. 29, 2014 -

In a two-part lecture series in Santa Fe, SFI President Jerry Sabloff showed how lessons today's archaeologists are learning about the past offer insights that could shape present and future human societies. Watch his talks.

Ceremony honors Murray Gell-Mann with Germany's prestigious Helmholtz Medal
Sept. 26, 2014 -

In a moving ceremony Thursday evening in Santa Fe, Murray Gell-Mann received Germany's prestigious Helmholtz Medal for his achievements in physics and the sciences.

How rival cultural evolution camps found common ground at SFI
Sept. 26, 2014 -

An unusual meeting at SFI in May took a major step toward bridging the differences among scientists studying cultural evolution, says its organizer, SFI External Professor Daniel Dennett. Read the participants' summaries.

What is creativity, and how can we understand it?
Sept. 26, 2014 -

SFI and the National Endowment for the Arts hosted a meeting in July to examine creativity through the lenses of the arts, psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, education, and more. Read the five takeaways.

Paper: Modern forests shaped by meteorite that led to dinosaur extinction
- PLOS
Sept. 25, 2014 -

In PLOS, SFI External Professor Brian Enquist and colleagues suggest that the meteorite that spelled extinction for the dinosaurs could be responsible for modern forest landscapes favoring deciduous trees over evergreens.

How to learn the number of species in a large area without counting
- Quanta, WIRED
Sept. 25, 2014 -

John Harte, an ecologist and SFI External Professor, is featured in Quanta Magazine for his novel approach to quantifying species in complex ecosystems.

Paper: West Africa could see 4,400 new Ebola cases in September
- PLOS Currents: Outbreaks
Sept. 22, 2014 -

A new paper by SFI External Professor Carlos Castillo-Chavez and co-authors examines the complex dynamics of the 2014 Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa.

Geometry, programmed death might have enabled evolution of multicellularity
- PLOS Computational Biology
Sept. 19, 2014 -

Geometry and programmed cell death may have helped along the evolution of multicellular life, according to new research led by SFI Omidyar Fellow Eric Libby.

Cosmologists respond to the biggest question of all: 'What is the universe?'
- Smithsonian Magazine
Sept. 18, 2014 -

Smithsonian Magazine asks "What is the universe?" and turns to top cosmologists -- including SFI External Professor and Science Board member Seth Lloyd -- for answers. 

Board for $1 million Longevity Prize includes three SFI trustees
Sept. 11, 2014 -

Three of the Institute's trustees are on the board of a new incentive prize that rewards compelling research to understand aging.

Paper: How computer programming languages evolve
- Technology.org
Sept. 11, 2014 -

An SFI working paper by External Professor Ricard Solé and collaborator Sergi Valverde proposes a model for tracing the evolution of computer programming languages.

Mergers and acquisitions lead to 'business ecosystem' imbalances
- Proceedings of the Royal Society A
Sept. 10, 2014 -

Business mergers and acquisitions bring about significant imbalances in the functioning of economic systems, according to a new analysis of economic data that draws approaches from evolutionary biology and complexity.

Study traces ecological collapse over 6,000 years of Egyptian history
Sept. 9, 2014 -

A new analysis of depictions of large mammals in Egyptian artifacts record suggests that species extinctions have made the Nile Valley ecosystem progressively less stable over the last 6,000 years.

A safer world through disease mathematics
- Santa Fe New Mexican
Sept. 8, 2014 -

In the Santa Fe New Mexican's "Science in a Complex World" series, SFI Omidyar Fellow Ben Althouse describes how mathematics is helping us understand the complex problem of how diseases spread.

Mathematics of ride sharing: If New Yorkers shared a cab
- The New York Times
Sept. 2, 2014 -

SFI Professor Luis Bettencourt comments on a recent study that examines the possible benefits of New York taxi passengers sharing rides along common routes.

Mass urbanization could lead to unprecedented human creativity...if we do it right
Aug. 29, 2014 -

An editorial by SFI Professor Luis Bettencourt describes potential promises, and perils, of global urbanization. 

Weighing the pros and cons of fracking for oil and gas
- Physics Today
Aug. 28, 2014 -

SFI External Professor John Rundle and co-authors review the practice of fracking -- injecting large volumes of low-viscosity water into shales to extract oil and gas -- and consider the pros and cons.

SFI's Mercedes Pascual receives MacArthur Award in ecology
Aug. 22, 2014 -

SFI External Professor and Science Board member Mercedes Pascual has been awarded the Ecological Society of America's prestigious Robert H. MacArthur Award.

Video - Watch Steven Strogatz's SFI Community Lecture 'The Joy of x: A Guided Tour of Math'
Aug. 12, 2014 -

In an August 6 SFI Community Lecture in Santa Fe, mathematician Steven Strogatz showed how math underpins our lives, from finding the perfect romantic partner to understanding how Google works. Watch the video.

What influenced prevalence of violence in ancient societies?
- American Antiquity
Aug. 7, 2014 -

In a recent paper, SFI External Professor Tim Kohler and co-authors find differences in prevalence of violence among the northern Rio Grande and central Mesa Verde areas between A.D. 600 and the arrival of the Spanish in 1540.

Study: Social dynamics beats penicillin in stopping syphilis outbreaks
- Journal of the Royal Society Interface
Aug. 6, 2014 -

Two SFI researchers examined the on-again-off-again cycles of syphilis infection since the early 1960s and conclude that the dynamics of social networks, not cycles of immunity, most likely account for some of the disease's fluctuation.

Video: What's the number one thing we could do to improve city life?
- The Atlantic Cities
Aug. 5, 2014 -

SFI's Luis Bettencourt and Geoffrey West are among the experts who weigh in on the question "What's the number one thing we could do to improve city life?"

Melanie Moses selected for McDonnell Foundation's complex systems scholar award
July 30, 2014 -

SFI External Professor Melanie Moses has been awarded the James S. McDonnell Foundation's 21st Century Science Initiative in Studying Complex Systems – Scholar Award for 2014.

Video: Watch Seth Lloyd's talk 'Is time travel possible? Testing the Grandfather Paradox'
July 30, 2014 -

In a July 16 SFI Community Lecture in Santa Fe, MITs Seth Lloyd proffered a mode of time travel that is both theoretically possible and creatively irresistible. Watch his talk.

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