Cancer evolution, from cells to species and back

In his 2020 Darwin Lecture, “Cancer Evolution: From Cells to Species and Back,” SFI External Professor Michael Hochberg, who is Distinguished Research Director with the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique at the University of Montpellier, France, drew on insights from network science and his own expertise in disease modeling to provide an overview of how evolution has shaped cancer into the deadly killer it is today.

Read More

Research brief: Where should you park your car? The 1/2 rule

In a Journal of Statistical Mechanics paper published in July 2020, Paul Krapivsky and SFI Professor Sidney Redner report an idealized model for the optimal strategy to park in the very best spot that’s closest to your destination. The paper was selected by Physics World as one of  "The 10 quirkiest physics stories of 2020."

Read More

Simon Levin on 'Evolving an Ecological Perspective'

What does ecological thinking look like? For SFI Science Board Member Simon A. Levin, adopting an ecological perspective involves thinking about the interplay between interdependence and adaptation. His op-ed appears in the Winter 2020 issue of The Bridge.

Read More

Susan Fitzpatrick on 'Complexity Blind Spots'

In the latest issue of The Bridge, SFI Science Board member Susan Fitzpatrick describes how efficiency can lead to fragility, and advocates for using complex systems thinking to inform our engineered social systems.

Read More

To find the right network model, compare all possible histories

Scientists rarely have the historical data they need to see exactly how nodes in a network became connected. But a new paper by SFI's George Cantwell offers hope for reconstructing the missing information, using a new method to evaluate the rules that generate network models.

Read More

Accounting for the gaps in ancient food webs

Studying ancient food webs can help scientists reconstruct communities of species, many long extinct, and even use those insights to figure out how modern-day communities might change in the future. There’s just one problem: only some species left enough of a trace for scientists to find eons later, leaving large gaps in the fossil record — and researchers’ ability to piece together the food webs from the past.

A new paper by paleoecologist Jack Shaw, SFI's Jennifer Dunne, and other researchers shines a light on those gaps and points the way to how to account for them.

Read More

New paper: What makes an explanation good enough?

What makes an explanation good enough? As a personal matter, people have different answers to this question, and not all of them agree, says a new paper in Trends in Cognitive Sciences by Simon DeDeo and Zachary Wojtowicz. The authors use Bayes’ Rule, a famous theorem in probability and statistics, to investigate what we value in scientific and moral explanations. 

Read More

Drowning in disinformation

The use and spread of disinformation has quickly eroded trust in institutions that serve as the bedrocks of our society, such as science, the media, and government.

In a white paper for the Computing Community Consortium (CCC), a group of researchers including SFI's Joshua Garland and Elizabeth Bradley outline steps to begin dealing with the disinformation problem.

Read More