Month: October 2016

What Counts as Science?

The arXiv preprint service is trying to answer an age-old question. 


Before arXiv, preprint papers were available only within small scientific circles, distributed by hand and by mail, and the journals in which they were ultimately published months later (if they were published at all) were holed up in university libraries. But arXiv has democratized the playing field, giving scientists instant access to ideas from all kinds of colleagues, all over the world, from prestigious chairs at elite universities to post-docs drudging away at off-brand institutions and scientists in developing countries with meager research support.


Why I know but don’t believe

Despite extensive efforts at public science education, polling over the past 30 years has consistently shown that about 40 to 45% of Americans believe that humans were supernaturally created in the past 10,000 years (1). A natural interpretation of this finding is that U.S. science education is failing to reach nearly half of the population, and that widespread belief in recent human origins reflects basic scientific illiteracy. However, the reality is more complex (2): Many of those who reject evolutionary theory are aware of the scientific consensus on the subject, and such rejection is not always associated with low scientific literacy. Similar results have been found for beliefs regarding anthropogenic climate change (3). On page 321 of this issue, Friedkin et al. (4) provide a key step toward understanding this phenomenon by introducing a simple family of models for social influence among individuals with multiple, interdependent beliefs.


Why I know but don’t believe
Carter T. Butts

Science  21 Oct 2016:
Vol. 354, Issue 6310, pp. 286-287
DOI: 10.1126/science.aaj1817


Conference on Complex Systems 2017: Cancun, Mexico

The scientific study of complex systems offers a method for understanding how elements interact to give rise to global properties, while at the same time these properties constrain elements. Bringing together scholars and students from all fields, the Conference on Complex Systems will convene in September 17-22, 2017 in Latin America for the first time.


International Conference on Computational Social Science

The 3rd Annual International Conference on Computational Social Science (IC2S2 2017) is an interdisciplinary event designed to engage a broad community of researchers – academics, industry experts, open data activists, government agency workers, and think tank analysts – dedicated to advancing social science knowledge through computational methods. IC2S2 2017 affords the opportunity to meet and discuss works in which social systems and dynamics are investigated in a quantitative way through large datasets that are either mined from various sources (e.g. social media, communication systems), or created via controlled experiments or computational modeling.
After successful events in Helsinki 2015 and Evanston, IL 2016, the 3rd IC2S2 will take place in Cologne, Germany on July 10-13.


Evidence of Shared Aspects of Complexity Science and Quantum Phenomena

Complexity science concepts of emergence, self-organization, and feedback suggest that descriptions of systems and events are subjective, incomplete, and impermanent-similar to what we observe in quantum phenomena. Complexity science evinces an increasingly compelling alternative to reductionism for describing physical phenomena, now that shared aspects of complexity science and quantum phenomena are being scientifically substantiated. Establishment of a clear connection between chaotic complexity and quantum entanglement in small quantum systems indicates the presence of common processes involved in thermalization in large and small-scale systems. Recent findings in the fields of quantum physics, quantum biology, and quantum cognition demonstrate evidence of the complexity science characteristics of sensitivity to initial conditions and emergence of self-organizing systems. Efficiencies in quantum superposition suggest a new paradigm in which our very notion of complexity depends on which information theory we choose to employ.


Evidence of Shared Aspects of Complexity Science and Quantum Phenomena
Cynthia Larson

Cosmos and History: The Journal of Natural and Social Philosophy, Vol 12, No 2 (2016)