Complexity Explorer Santa Fe Institute

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29 Jul 2020
Complex Systems Social Change Social Systems Law

July 2020 Newsletter

Dear Complexity Explorers,

As we enter the second half of the year, it's hard to imagine what 2020 will bring next. More challenges, certainly, and more opportunities to learn and grow and change the things that are not working for us as individuals and as a society.

Our thoughts are with the many victims of disease, abuse, injustice, and exclusion. Black lives and Native lives matter. The SFI community of complexity researchers are aligned with all who are committed to freedom, justice, diversity, opportunity, and empiricism. We stand with those who strive to provide the most powerful ideas, methods, and tools pursuant to a civil and equitable society. We add our voice to the moment, defend freedom of expression, and offer all that we can in pursuit of a safer and fairer world.

New Crime and Punishment lecture is now available

Dr. Rajiv Sethi introduces the prejudices we hold and how they influence our decision-making, especially in times of acute stress that can escalate into life-death decisions. The lecture focuses on violent crime in the United States - specifically, robbery, assault, and murder - which share the quality of being crimes involving personal confrontations between the perpetrator and the victim. These crimes also share a bias in convicting more people of color than white perpetrators, disproportionate to estimates of the actual demographics of perpetrators. Why is policing in the United States biased against people of color with respect to violent crimes in particular? 

Dr. Sethi presented this lecture in February 2020, a few months before a string of yet more violent deaths of Black men and women at the hands of members of various police forces and other public safety institutions.

Register Now > 

New Complexity Interactive now accepting applications

Complexity Interactive

12 - 30 October 2020

Program Overview

A new program from the Santa Fe Institute combines the guided interaction of an in-person course with the flexibility to learn from anywhere in the world. This three-week, part-time, online course offers participants a theory- and applications-based view of complexity science. Complexity Interactive will focus on providing a foundation for thinking broadly about complex systems, encouraging participants to explore syntheses across systems in an open dialog with SFI faculty. SFI-CI will be limited to ~ 50 participants to ensure everyone has ample opportunity to discuss with faculty and with each other.

Who should apply?

Complexity Interactive is aimed at practicing researchers from academic, private, non-profit, and government sectors who wish to understand how the methods and philosophy of a complex systems approach may enhance their work. The curriculum is especially suited to graduate students and postdocs (or those at similar career stages) in a particular discipline who wish to develop a more trans-disciplinary, mutualistic approach in their work.


●  A series of live* lectures, panel discussions, and Q&As organized around select themes in complexity science. Content will cover methods/approaches, applications, debates, and open questions.   

●  Mentored group projects will provide practice in the content introduced in tutorials and lectures and allow exploration of complex systems research.

●  Curated recorded materials as well as quizzes, problem sets, and recommended readings will provide a reference and resource for foundational theory.

       * Recorded and archived for participants during the course. 

Participants will receive a certification of completion from the Santa Fe Institute at the conclusion of the course.


The Complexity Interactive faculty incorporates the diverse interests of SFI scientists. Speakers include:

Danielle Bassett • Brains   U Pennsylvania | Santa Fe Institute
Jenna Bednar • Government   U Michigan | Santa Fe Institute
Aviv Bergman • Genes   Albert Einstein College of Medicine | Santa Fe Institute
Luís Bettencourt • Cities   U Chicago | Santa Fe Institute
Simon DeDeo • Culture   Carnegie Mellon U | Santa Fe Institute
Mirta Galesic • Opinions   Santa Fe Institute
Cristopher Moore • Algorithms   Santa Fe Institute
Melanie Mitchell • AIs   Portland State U | Santa Fe Institute
Melanie Moses • Robots   U New Mexico | Santa Fe Institute
Orit Peleg • Insects   U Colorado Boulder | Santa Fe Institute
Marten Scheffer • Ecosystems   Wageningen U | Santa Fe Institute
Ricard Solé • Patterns   U Pompeu Fabra | Santa Fe Institute
Stefan Thurner • Societies   Medical University of Vienna | Santa Fe Institute

Learn more and apply >


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