Far-reaching conversations with a worldwide network of scientists and mathematicians, philosophers and artists developing new frameworks to explain our universe's deepest mysteries. Join host Michael Garfield at the Santa Fe Institute each week to learn about your world and the people who have dedicated their lives to exploring its emergent order: their stories, research, and insights…

Eine durchschnittliche Folge dieses Podcasts dauert 56m. Bisher sind 75 Folge(n) erschienen. Alle 9 Tage erscheint eine Folge dieses Podcasts.

Gesamtlänge aller Episoden: 2 days 21 hours 54 minutes


episode 65: Deborah Gordon on Ant Colonies as Distributed Computers

The popular conception of ants is that “anatomy is destiny”: an ant’s body type determines its role in the colony, for once and ever. But this is not the case; rather than forming rigid castes, ants act like a distributed computer in which tasks are re-allocated as the situation changes. “Division of labor” implies a constant “assembly line” environment, not fluid adaptation to evolving conditions...


 2021-07-30  54m

episode 64: Reconstructing Ancient Superhighways with Stefani Crabtree and Devin White

Seventy thousand years ago, humans migrated on foot across the ancient continent of Sahul — the landmass that has since split up into  Australia and New Guinea. Mapping the journeys of these ancient voyagers is no small task: previous efforts to understand prehistoric migrations relied on coarse estimates based on genomic studies or on spotty records of recovered artifacts...


 2021-07-16  1h6m

episode 63: Mark Ritchie on A New Thermodynamics of Biochemistry, Part 2

This week we conclude our two-part discussion with ecologist Mark Ritchie of Syracuse University on how he and his SFI collaborators are starting to rethink the intersections of thermodynamics and biology to better fit our scientific models to the patterns we observe in nature. Most of what we know about the enzymatic processes of plant and animal metabolisms comes from test tube experiments, not studies in the context of a living organism...


 2021-07-02  45m

episode 62: Mark Ritchie on A New Thermodynamics of Biochemistry, Part 1

Deep inside your cells, the chemistry of life is hard at work to make the raw materials and channel the energy required for growth, maintenance, and reproduction. Few systems are as intricate or as mysterious. For this reason, how a cell does what it does remains a frontier for research — and, consequently, theory often grows unchecked by solid data...


 2021-06-18  40m

episode 61: Andrea Wulf on The Invention of Nature, Part 2: Humboldt's Dangerous Idea

The 19th Century saw many transformations: the origins of ecology and modern climatology, new unifying theories of the living world, the first Big Science projects, revolutions in the Spanish colonies, new information systems for the storage and representation of data… Many of these can be traced back to the influence of one singular explorer, Alexander von Humboldt. Humboldt was one of the last true polymathic individuals in whom the sum of human knowledge could be seated...


 2021-06-04  48m

episode 60: Andrea Wulf on The Invention of Nature, Part 1: Humboldt's Naturegemälde

When you hear the word “nature,” what comes to mind? Chances are, if you are listening to this in the 21st Century, the image is one of a vast, interconnected, living network — one in which you and your fellow human beings play a complicated part. And yet, this is a relatively recent way of thinking for the modern West. It takes a special kind of thinker — and a special kind of life — to find and recognize the patterns that connect different environments around the planet...


 2021-05-21  51m

episode 59: Sidney Redner on Statistics and Everyday Life

Complexity is all around us: in the paths we walk through pathless woods, the strategies we use to park our cars, the dynamics of an elevator as it cycles up and down a building. Zoom out far enough and the phenomena of everyday existence start revealing hidden links, suggesting underlying universal patterns. At great theoretic heights, it all yields to statistical analysis: winning streaks and traffic jams, card games and elevators...


 2021-05-07  57m

episode 58: Orit Peleg on the Collective Behavior of Honeybees & Fireflies

“More than the sum of its parts” is practically the slogan of systems thinking. One canonical example is a beehive: individually, a honeybee is not that clever, but together they can function like shapeshifting metamaterials or mesh networks — some of humankind’s most sophisticated innovations. Emergent collective behavior is common in the insect world — and not just among superstar collaborators like bees, ants, and termites...


 2021-04-23  1h0m

episode 57: Jonas Dalege on The Physics of Attitudes & Beliefs

Human relationships are often described in the language of “chemistry” — does that make the beliefs and attitudes of individuals a kind of “physics”? It is, at least, a fascinating avenue of inquiry. In particular, the field of statistical mechanics offers potent tools for understanding how exactly people form their views and change their minds. From this perspective, everyone is a dynamic network of opinions and values, in a tense and ever-changing balance both with others and ourselves...


 2021-04-09  47m

episode 56: J. Doyne Farmer on The Complexity Economics Revolution

Once upon a time at UC Santa Cruz, a group of renegade grad students started mixing physics with math and computers, determined to discover underlying patterns in the seeming-randomness of systems like the weather and roulette...


 2021-03-26  1h4m