A new study presents a tool to assess research performance more fairly than the pervasive H-index score, which is commonly used to make hiring decisions in academia.
Much of modern sleep research has focused on the hormones, cells, and enzymes that regulate how we sleep, and what goes wrong when we can't sleep. But “all of this leaves unanswered the more fundamental question of why we need to sleep in the first place. What, in fact, is sleep’s function?” ask SFI's Van Savage and Geoffrey West in an essay for Aeon magazine.
Archaeologists have long had a dating problem. The radiocarbon analysis typically used to reconstruct past human demographic changes relies on a method easily skewed by radiocarbon calibration curves and measurement uncertainty. And there’s never been a statistical fix that works — until now.
A team of researchers associated with the Evolution of Human Languages program is using a novel technique to comb through the data and to reconstruct major branches in the linguistic tree.
In a new opinion piece for Frontiers in Applied Mathematics and Statistics, SFI External Professor Jürgen Jost tours some of the major philosophical and scientific debates around consciousness, including whether a human or animal brain automatically becomes conscious when it crosses a certain threshold of complexity.
From small committees to national elections, group decision-making can be complicated — and it may not always settle on the best choice. A new mathematical framework shows that’s partly because some members of the group do research on their own, and others take their cues from the people around them.
On average, people in larger cities are better off economically. But a new study published in the Royal Society Interface builds on previous research that says, that’s not necessarily true for the individual city-dweller. It turns out, bigger cities also produce more income inequality.
What if life evolved not just once, but multiple times independently?
In a new paper, published in the Journal of Molecular Evolution, Santa Fe Institute researchers Chris Kempes and David Krakauer argue that in order to recognize life’s full range of forms, we must develop a new theoretical frame.
The external faculty are central to SFI’s identity as a world-class research institute. They enrich our networks of interactions, help us push the boundaries of complex systems science, and connect us to over 70 institutions around the globe.
This year, nine new researchers join SFI’s external faculty.
Does the universe follow patterns, or do we humans just see them wherever we look? In a new paper for the Australasian Journal of Philosophy, SFI Program Postdoctoral Fellow Tyler Millhouse proposes a criterion evaluating just how real a pattern is likely to be.
If chemical reactions can be “programmed” like other types of computing machines, they might be exploited for applications in many areas, including intelligent drug delivery, neural networks, or even artificial cells, write SFI External Professor Juan Pérez-Mercader and Marta Dueñas-Díez in a review article for Frontiers in Chemistry.
A team of economists and scientists have published a new study illustrating how tools from ecology can help us better understand financial markets.
In a new perspective piece in Nature, SFI researchers and their collaborators argue that social scientists can gather highly accurate information about social trends and groups by asking about a person’s social circle rather than interrogating their own individual beliefs.
In a paper published in Nature Communications, incoming SFI Postdoctoral Fellow Yuanzhao Zhang and former SFI external faculty member Steve Strogatz report using temporal network models to show that allowing connection patterns to change over time makes it possible to synchronize a system more efficiently.
Communication technology, study of collective behavior must be ‘crisis discipline,’ researchers argue
A team of researchers that includes SFI's Albert Kao and Mirta Galesic says that the study of collective behavior must rise to a “crisis discipline,” just like medicine, conservation, and climate science, according to a new perspective piece published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
A new paper in the journal Cognition examines the visual complexity of written language and how that complexity has evolved.
The first meeting of the Junior Women’s Caucus in Stochastic Thermodynamics aims to give participants the opportunities many early-career researchers find most helpful, such as networking, journal-reading, tutorials, and access to senior academics in the field.
Citizen opposition to COVID-19 vaccination has emerged across the globe, prompting pushes for mandatory vaccination policies. But a new study based on evidence from Germany and on a model of the dynamic nature of people’s resistance to COVID-19 vaccination sounds an alarm: mandating vaccination could have a substantial negative impact on voluntary compliance.
A new study by ecologist and SFI External Professor André de Roos* shows that differences between juveniles and adults of the same species are crucial for the stability of complex ecological communities.