After a two-and-a-half-year pause, the eighth bi-annual JSMF–SFI Postdocs in Complexity conference reconvened at SFI April 6-8. The meeting included 34 James S McDonnell Foundation Fellows from around the world and 13 Postdoctoral Fellows from the Santa Fe Institute.
Increasingly, algorithms rule our world. They guide doctors toward our medical treatments, advise bankers on whether to give us a home loan, help judges decide whether to release us on bail. They’re often hidden and mysterious, guiding our lives in ways we don’t understand. Are they doing a good job? In particular, are they fair, or are they treating some groups of people better than others? A March working group addresses the question: Can algorithms bend the arc toward justice?
Since 1987, the Santa Fe Institute’s Community Lecture Series has shared complexity science with an enthusiastic local audience. The COVID-19 pandemic forced the series to go dark in March of 2020. Two years later, the series returned to its local home at the Lensic Performing Arts Center on March 22, 2022, with a talk by SFI External Professor Sara Walker, an astrobiologist at Arizona State University. In her talk “Recognizing the Alien in Us,” Walker expands on themes that were introduced in SFI’s first Community Lectures more than three decades ago.
To advance research on topics from climate change to machine learning, scientific models are crucial. These models often reveal patterns, but humans also have a tendency to see patterns everywhere, even where there are none. How can researchers recognize which patterns are real and which ones are not? Which kinds of real patterns are most useful to science? These are some of the questions that philosophers and scientists from various disciplines explored in a virtual SFI workshop on “Real Patterns in Science and Cognition” held February 28 – March 4.
Over the past three years, SFI’s Applied Complexity Network (ACtioN) has had a front-row seat in a series of meetings where SFI researchers have been evolving a new kind of engineering, one better suited to the complex systems that drive the contemporary world. Called emergent engineering, it generates the conceptual frameworks and design principles that practitioners need to carry out engineering projects that engage with adaptive agents.
Join us on Wednesday, September 29, at 6:30 p.m. for a film screening and Q&A at the Violet Crown Cinema in Santa Fe.
New book: Complexity Economics explores paradigm-busting influence of complex systems science on economics
In a new book published by the SFI Press, editors W. Brian Arthur, Eric Beinhocker, and Allison Stanger explore the paradigm-busting influence of complex systems science on economics.
On April 15, SFI hosted a flash discussion that focused on human behavior, incentives, and beliefs. The overarching message was that the financial and social fallout of the pandemic, while difficult to predict, will largely depend on actions at individual, community, and institutional levels.
On March 31, five speakers from epidemiology and economics discussed strategies for both public health and economic recovery, and answered questions from the SFI community.
What would life on Earth be were it not for the domestication of plants and animals? An SFI working group, "Re-evaluating the Origins and Trajectories of Domestication," running March 9-11, explores "the nature of relationships between human groups and lots of different plants and animals."
Shifting from carbon-emitting energy sources to renewable ones will be an essential part of addressing climate change, but the path to a renewable power grid is uncharted. A February 26-28 working group explores how New Mexico might best approach the transition to renewable energy sources, and what lessons could be useful for other regions.
NPR’s David Brancaccio is hosting a free, virtual book club around the CORE team's introductory econ textbook.
In this SFI Community Lecture, economist Rajiv Sethi shows the depths to which stereotypes are implicated in the most controversial criminal justice issues of our time, and how a clearer understanding of their effects can guide us toward a more just society.