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Research without borders: Head of Santa Fe Institute to address NSF

Geoffrey West, president of the Santa Fe Institute, will speak as a National Science Foundation (NSF) Distinguished Lecturer on June 12-13, 2007, giving two lectures.

Topic: Santa Fe Institute: An Experiment in Transformational, Transdisciplinary Science

When: Tuesday June 12, 2007, at 4 p.m.

Who: Geoffrey West, president of Santa Fe Institute

What: NSF Distinguished Lecture Series

Where: National Science Foundation
4201 Wilson Boulevard
Arlington, Va.
Room 1235

Background:

Many of the most challenging, exciting and profound questions facing science and society lie at the boundaries between traditional disciplines. Among these are the dynamics, growth, evolution and robustness of complex adaptive systems whether organisms, ecosystems, or societies; network dynamics from quantum field theory to social organizations; the physical-chemical origins of life; biologically-inspired paradigms in computation from viruses to vaccines; the inter-relationship between information processing, energy, and dynamics in biology and society; integrated theories of growth, innovation and sustainability; origins of cooperation; evolution of human languages; dynamics of financial markets; conflicts and patterns of political violence, etc.

The academic landscape needs places where research on fundamental problems such as these, which require creative, transdisciplinary collaborations, is strongly encouraged and supported. Unfortunately, this has often proven to be problematic within the traditional departmental structure of universities.

Bringing together highly diverse minds prepared to engage in substantive, in-depth collaboration in the search for underlying principles, commonalities, simplicity and order in highly complex phenomena is a major challenge. To address some of our major problems requires a long-term commitment to high-risk, high-quality science in an environmen
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Contact: Dana Topousis
dtopousi@nsf.gov
703-292-7750
National Science Foundation
11-Jun-2007


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