Santa Fe Institute

Research News

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Paper sheds new light on how hosts and parasites co-evolve
July 23, 2014 -

In PNAS, researchers examine co-evolution patterns among a bacterium and a panel of viruses, shedding new light on the dynamics of co-evolution among simple host-parasite communities.

'Complexity economics teaches us humility'
- Libre Mercado (Spain)
July 22, 2014 -

In a Q&A, SFI Trustee John Chisholm extolls the value of online education and complex systems thinking and says the Institute has "profoundly" influenced his thinking about the economy.

What science can tell us about how cities work
- Boston Globe
July 21, 2014 -

SFI Professor Luis Bettencourt is quoted in a Boston Globe story about the increasing contributions science is making to urban design and planning.

'Hanging out at the Santa Fe Institute is like being at a brain spa'
July 20, 2014 -

A feature describes the Institute, its research, and its people in the context of a recent meeting in which the world's experts gathered to explore the connections among climate, sustainability, and human activity.

Better ways to forecast technological change
July 18, 2014 -

Experts are at SFI this summer examining how technology evolves, in part by building technological trophic networks akin to food webs describing feeding interactions in ecosystems. 

Working group explores the 'frustration' of spin glasses
July 17, 2014 -

Experts invited to a five-day working group at SFI this week will seek a better understanding of spin glasses and how they work.

Ecologists need 'efficient theory' to make sense of all the data
- Bioscience
July 16, 2014 -

Ecologists are awash with data and have the tools to find patterns in it, but understanding those patterns calls for "efficient theory," according to a new report in BioScience.

Study: Culture influences strategy in online coordination game
July 16, 2014 -

People strategize better with those from their own culture and they are poor at predicting the behavior of those from different cultures, suggests a new study led by SFI External Professor Matthew O. Jackson.

Word borrowing: The humble beginnings of 'ecstasy' and 'quark'
- The Providence Journal
July 11, 2014 -

The Providence Journal follows the trail of two words -- ecstasy and quark (the latter adopted by SFI's Murray Gell-Mann from poetry into particle physics) -- from obscure origins to everyday English.

What is creativity, and how can we understand it?
July 10, 2014 -

SFI and the National Endowment for the Arts are holding a working group in Santa Fe this week to examie creativity through the lenses of cognitive science, psychology, education, the arts, neuroscience, and more.

Andreas Wagner elected to European Molecular Biology Organization
July 10, 2014 -

SFI External Professor Andreas Wagner has been elected to the European Molecular Biology Organization for his research in the evolution of biological systems from genomes to complex molecular networks.

Paper: When microbes join forces, useful new compounds emerge
- PLOS Computational Biology
July 9, 2014 -

In PLOS Computational Biology, Elhanen Borenstein and co-authors show that communities of microbial species commonly produce novel, potentially useful compounds that single species do not produce alone.

Video: Rapid urbanization calls for merging of perspectives, nuanced solutions
- Aspen Ideas Festival
July 8, 2014 -

Integrating the needs of people and governments is one key to the challenges of rapid urbanization, said SFI's Luis Bettencourt in a panel discussion on “Future Megacities and the Fate of Millions” at the Aspen Ideas Festival.

Video: Modeling climate change scenarios right down to our own backyards
- Aspen Ideas Festival
July 7, 2014 -

At the Aspen Ideas Festival last weekend, Brian Enquist describes a project to develop a geographic inventory of forest assets for western North America and model how climate change will effect species distribution.

Regardless of our city's size, we all live in ‘villages’
- Journal of the Royal Society Interface
July 1, 2014 -

People who live in big cities and those who live in small towns might appear to lead very different social lives. Researchers at SFI and MIT find, however, that the social networks of city dwellers are not so different from those of village dwellers.

Paper: 800-year baby boom, crash offer population lessons
July 1, 2014 -

A paper in PNAS sketches an eight-century baby boom in the American Southwest starting around 500 A.D., followed by a crash, that Tim Kohler says offers a warning sign to the modern world about overpopulation.

Cities, slums, neighborhoods, people: Watch Luis Bettencourt's lecture
June 27, 2014 -

What is a city? In an SFI Community Lecture June 18 in Santa Fe, SFI Professor Luis Bettencourt peered inside the city, down to the data describing its neighborhoods and its people, for answers. Watch his talk.

Beware unintended consequences of urban renewal
- San Francisco Public Press
June 27, 2014 -

Urban renewal can bring welcome change to failing neighborhoods, but planners must continue to evaluate those well-intentioned efforts and ask "what's next" to blunt some of the unintended consequences.

Cities in 2050: Creative, open ended, & sustainable or congested, polluted, & crime-ridden?
- Ensia
June 26, 2014 -

Ensia magazine asks five experts, including SFI Professor Luis Bettencourt, what they think the world's cities will be like in the year 2050. Read their answers.

How complexity science helped restore Bali's rice traditions
- ScienceLive
June 26, 2014 -

SFI External Professor Steve Lansing used computer simulations to show that Bali's traditional agricultural systems had, before modern yield enhancements were imposed, been optimized over thousands of years.

How a small group of Santa Fe researchers changed economic thinking
June 26, 2014 -

SFI External Professor Brian Arthur reviews the history of what has come to be known as "Complexity Economics" and its contribution to the contemporary practice of economics.

Mark Newman receives 2014 Lagrange Prize
June 19, 2014 -

SFI External Professor Mark Newman has been awarded the prestigious 2014 Lagrange Prize for research achievements in the sciences of complexity.

Were dinosaurs warm-blooded or cold-blooded? Neither, says paper
June 18, 2014 -

Were dinosaurs lumbering cold-blooded animals or swift warm-blooded creatures? Neither, according to a recent paper in Science co-authored by SFI External Professor Brian Enquist.

New ways to assess climate footprints of greenhouse gases
- NPR's Living On Earth
June 18, 2014 -

Greenhouse gases are not all the same, and past methods of accounting misvalue their relative contributions over time to climate change, according to a new study that proposes improved metrics for methane and carbon dioxide emissions.

Paper: 150 years of court transcripts show Victorian-era shift in attitudes about violent crimes
- New York Times
June 17, 2014 -

Analysis of 150 years of transcripts from London's Old Bailey criminal court reveals that new attitudes emerged about violent crimes around 1800, suggesting a cultural shift.

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