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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When it comes to extinction, body size matters

On a certain level, extinction is all about energy. Animals move over their surroundings like pacmen, chomping up resources to fuel their survival. If they gain a certain energy threshold, they reproduce, essentially earning ...

dateFeb 13, 2018 in Ecology
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New paper answers causation conundrum

In a new paper published in a special issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A, SFI Professor Jessica Flack offers a practical answer to one of the most significant, and most confused questions in evolutionary ...

dateNov 17, 2017 in Mathematics
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The astonishing efficiency of life

All life on earth performs computations – and all computations require energy. From single-celled amoeba to multicellular organisms like humans, one of the most basic biological computations common across life is translation: ...

dateNov 17, 2017 in Cell & Microbiology
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Paradoxes in microbial economies

Microbes can produce many of the metabolic resources they need to survive. But because they have permeable cell walls, those resources can leak out into the surrounding environment. Since microbes often live in communities ...

dateNov 08, 2017 in Cell & Microbiology
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Global trade entrenches poverty traps

Competition between countries on global markets, says conventional wisdom in economics, is a Darwinian process that will weed out not only high-cost firms but also societal norms and institutions that are impediments to low-cost ...

dateOct 27, 2017 in Economics & Business
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Monk parakeets invade Mexico

Thanks to the international pet trade, populations of exotic animals are popping up in unexpected places worldwide. One of these successful invaders is the monk parakeet: a small, green parrot native to South America that ...

dateSep 19, 2017 in Ecology
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Birds choose mates with ornamental traits

A recurring theme in nature documentaries is that of choosy females selecting brightly colored males. A new study shows that, in monogamous mating systems, male birds may select their lifelong mates in much the same way.

dateSep 04, 2017 in Evolution
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