Meeting Summary: In general, function in biological and social systems emerges from interacting components, with the number of components ranging from tens (animal social groups) to hundreds or thousands (human groups) to millions (neural systems). Examples include power structures supporting conflict management in monkey and ape societies, evasive movements of fish schools that foil predators, collaborating groups of scientists producing innovation, or coordinated social action guiding the course of human history.
We aim to formulate "principles of collectivity" by observing and quantifying how aggregate behavior operates in existing biosocial systems. Across a range of systems—genes, neurons, animal groups, scientific literature, societies—we describe elementary collective properties that contribute to producing adaptive aggregate behavior.
In this second meeting of the working group, we will organize into small groups, each tackling an idea encountered in our first meeting. The goal is to flesh out these ideas into testable hypotheses, which we will describe in a series of manuscripts to constitute a themed collection on Quantifying Collectivity.