How should we act now? A virtual workshop on the COVID-19 pandemic

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.

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Study: ‘Near-unliveable’ heat for one-third of humans within 50 years if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut

Areas of the planet home to one-third of humans will become as hot as the hottest parts of the Sahara within 50 years, unless greenhouse gas emissions fall, according to research by an international research team of archaeologists, ecologists, and climate scientists. The study, which was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week, resulted from a 2018 SFI working group on climate change and the human "niche." It finds that rapid heating would mean that 3.5 billion people would live outside the temperature and humidity combinations in which humans have thrived for 6,000 years.

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SFI welcomes postdoctoral fellow Anjali Bhatt

SFI welcomes Omidyar Fellow Anjali Bhatt, who holds an AB in physics from Harvard University and is completing a PhD in organizational behavior at Stanford Graduate School of Business, and blends organizational and cultural theories, which are grounded in sociology, with the mathematical models of evolutionary biology and the quantitative tools of computational linguistics.

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SFI welcomes postdoctoral fellow Jonas Dalege

SFI welcomes Progam Postdoctoral Fellow Jonas Dalege, who holds a PhD in psychology as well as a BSc and MSc from the University of Amsterdam and will work with SFI Professor Mirta Galesic and External Professor Henrik Olsson to develop a unifying theoretical framework that integrates two approaches to understanding our ability to develop and maintain beliefs.

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SFI welcomes postdoctoral fellow Eddie Lee

SFI welcomes Eddie Lee, a Program Postdoctoral Fellow working with SFI President David Krakauer and Professor Jessica Flack in the Collective Computation (C4) Group, who builds on his background in physics to study social phenomena.

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COVID-19 U.S. employment shocks likely larger than Great Depression

The U.S. is likely to see a near-term 24% drop in employment, 17% percent drop in wages, and 22% drop in economic activity as a result of the COVID-19 crisis according to a new study co-authored by SFI External Professor Doyne Farmer at the University of Oxford. These impacts will be very unevenly distributed, with the bottom quarter of earners at risk of a 42% loss in employment and bearing a 30% share of total wage losses. In contrast, the study estimates the top quarter of earners only risk a 7% drop in employment and an 18% share of wage losses.

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What is an individual? Information Theory may provide the answer

Despite the near-universal assumption of individuality in biology, there is little agreement about what individuals are and few rigorous quantitative methods for their identification. A new approach may solve the problem by defining individuals in terms of informational processes.

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