Santa Fe Institute

The Santa Fe Institute (SFI) is an independent, nonprofit theoretical research institute located in Santa Fe (New Mexico, United States) and dedicated to the multidisciplinary study of the fundamental principles of complex adaptive systems, including physical, computational, biological, and social systems. The Institute houses a small number of resident faculty, who collaborate with many affiliated and visiting scholars. Although theoretical scientific research is the Institute's primary focus, it hosts a number of complex systems summer schools, internships, and other educational programs throughout the year. The Institute's annual funding is derived primarily from private donors, grant-making foundations, government science agencies, and companies affiliated with its Business Network. The Santa Fe Institute was founded in 1984 by scientists George Cowan, David Pines, Stirling Colgate, Murray Gell-Mann, Nick Metropolis, Herb Anderson, Peter A. Carruthers, and Richard Slansky.

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The wisdom of (smaller) crowds

When guessing the weight of an ox or estimating how many marbles fill a jar, the many have been shown to be smarter than the few. These collective displays of intelligence have been dubbed 'the wisdom of crowds,' but exactly ...

dateJun 27, 2016 in Social Sciences
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What drives biological synchrony?

Ecologists traditionally attribute population explosions, be they of diseases or animals, to broad environmental conditions. But new data suggest that other factors may drive "synchrony": rapid, widespread rises and falls ...

dateJun 09, 2016 in Ecology
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What can we learn from the farming insects?

Farming evolved independently in humans at least nine times. The practice was among the innovations that enabled complex civilizations to develop. But we weren't the first species to raise our own food: various leafcutter ...

dateApr 12, 2016 in Plants & Animals
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How hunter-gatherers preserved their food sources

A new study of humans on Sanak Island, Alaska and their historical relationships with local species suggests that despite being super-generalist predators, the food gathering behaviors of the local Aleut people were stabilizing ...

dateFeb 17, 2016 in Ecology
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