Complexity embodies some of the hardest, most fundamental and most challenging open problems in academia. In that sense it is truly “big science”.
It also lies at the root of the most burning issues that confront us every day, such as climate, hunger, sustainability, energy, urbanization, water, health, security, innovation, and the impact of technology. In that sense complexity is what we have created, what we are, and what we do.
The most compelling challenge for the world community is to find ways to “deal” with that complexity and exercise some element of control over our future. Complexity as “big science” is key to meeting this challenge. A Crude Look at the Whole is about complexity in all senses of the word.
Our world can be seen as a huge complex system consisting of an enormous number of interacting natural, social and artificial complex systems. We cannot successfully analyse this system “by determining in advance a set of properties or aspects that are studied separately and then recombining those partial approaches in an attempt to form a picture of the whole. Instead, it is necessary to look at the whole system, even if it means taking a crude look, and then allowing possible simplifications to emerge from the work”.
The above quote is taken from Murray Gell-Mann, who received the 1969 Nobel Prize for Physics for his work on the theory of elementary particles, and who will be the first speaker at this conference.
The conference will have twelve unique speakers. All are leaders in their field and will give meaning to complexity from the perspective of their interests and background. Together they cover a broad spectrum of areas, from the evolution of culture, to the evolution of collaboration, signals and boundaries, innovaton (in biology), biofilms, climate change and Chinese dynasties, and Dao. To hear them share their insights in complexity and partake in their discussions will be a great experience for all participants to the conference.
The setting of the conference is informal. After each of the talks there will be ample time for the audience and the speakers to discuss and meet.
This is the second conference in what will become an annual NTU event, in which some of the best scientists in the area of complexity will share their views with you.
We warmly invite you to actively take part in it.