New research from an interdisciplinary collaboration among historians, political scientists, and statisticians suggests that rhetorical innovations may have played a significant role in winning acceptance for the new principles of governance that built the French republic’s foundation — and inspired future democracies around the world.
The Social Reactors working group meets April 5-6 to quantify the social processes that could govern both modern and ancient cities.
Damon Centola presents more than a decade of original research examining how changes in societal behavior ― in voting, health, technology, and finance ― occur and the ways social networks can be used to influence how they propagate. Watch the talk. (1 hour 22 minutes)
A workshop at SFI in early April explores questions about scientific value. This event brings together researchers and institutional leaders who will discuss how to measure impact and improve judgment by looking at tools of complexity.
The noise in high-dimensional datasets can obscure real correlations — and give rise to illusory patterns that don’t mean anything. April 2-5, an interdisciplinary group of mathematicians, physicists, and theoretical computer scientists meets at SFI to address the problem and devise new algorithms that can succeed all the way up to the limits that arise from not having enough data, or not knowing if the data is accurate.
A team of scientists has made a fundamental discovery about how fires on the edges of these forests control their shape and stability. Their study implies that when patches of tropical forest lose their natural shape it could contribute to the sudden, even catastrophic, transformation of that land from trees to grass.
Collective movement is one of the great natural wonders on Earth and has long captured our imaginations. But there’s a lot we don’t understand about how collective movement drives — and is driven by — broader ecological and evolutionary processes.
In a paper published in Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, B, SFI Omidyar Fellow Andrew Berdahl, long-time collaborator Colin Torney (University of Glasgow), and co-authors, used drones to collect overhead footage of migrating caribou. This is the first paper to use drones to record the movement of individual animals within groups. It is also among the first to study social interactions within those groups as they migrate.
Though scientists have yet to find life beyond our own planet, the universe is rife with possibilities. Where to look, and how to recognize it when we find it, are questions physical biologist Chris Kempes explored during March 20 Santa Fe Institute Community Lecture. Watch his talk here.
A new analysis by External Professor Aaron Clauset asks us to re-think the current "long peace" in terms of historical trends of calm and conflict.
A working group brings scientists from diverse fields together to develop better quantitative models of optimal decision making.