SFI Omidyar Fellow James O'Dwyer argues that mathematics, combined with an ecological way of thinking, can help humankind better understand diversity in both ecological and human settings.
Read the Santa Fe New Mexican article (February 13, 2012)
"We worry a lot about biodiversity these days, and we are aware that human activities tend to inhibit biodiversity," he writes. "If we want to know just how detrimental such losses of diversity are to the natural world on which we depend, and even predict the effects of future losses, it is helpful to understand what drives and constrains coexistence. For that we need mathematics."
He adds: "bringing ideas from ecology to the study of human institutions has the potential to help us become more productive, allow us to live together more harmoniously, and maybe better able to withstand societal shifts and changes. We have to be careful, of course, about applying our models and intuitions in the wrong way. But in the signature SFI style we’re beginning to see the potential for a very fruitful cross-fertilization of fields."
Read the full Santa Fe New Mexican article (February 13, 2012)
Watch SFI's Omidyar Fellows talk about their work (6-minute SFI video)
Support SFI here