SPECIAL CONFERENCE SESSIONS:
EVOLUTION AND ALTRUISM
HOMELAND & INTERNATIONAL SECURITY
EDUCATING ABOUT COMPLEX SYSTEMS
EDUCATION SYSTEM REFORM
BIODIVERSITY, SPECIATION AND ECOLOGY
BIOMEDICAL SIMULATION AND SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY
This year's conference has a special focus day (Friday) and additional presentations throughout the week on global systems. Speakers, among others, are Steve Blount, head of Global Health at CDC, Dixie Snider, the chief scientist of the CDC, Frannie Leautier, the head of the World Bank Institute and VP of the World Bank, Hayward Alker, political scientist at USC, and Adm. Hogg, Director of the CNO Strategic Studies Group. Topics of presentations of interest include, but are not restricted to:
- Socio-economic systems, including global development
- Peace and conflict, including international security
- Environmental concerns, including global warming
- Health, including pandemics
EVOLUTION AND ALTRUISM:
Advances in our understanding of the evolutionary origins of altruism and collective behaviors will be discussed at the conference in multiple sessions. Keynotes will be given by E.O. Wilson and David Sloan Wilson.
HOMELAND & INTERNATIONAL SECURITY:
International terrorism, pandemics, and natural disasters are leading to a broad need for scientific complex systems based strategies. The Complex Systems community should respond by providing new insights tools and approaches informing policy, preparation and action. Sessions topics include, but are not restricted to:
- Modeling and simulation of attacks, pandemics and disasters
- Critical infrastructure protection
- Network analysis of terrorism
- Social processes of radical movements supporting terrorism
- Analysis of effective and ineffective crisis response
- Network analysis of transnational emergency response
Among the speakers addressing this topic are Lt. Gen. Pat Hughes, Former director of DIA, Pete Gallant, Director of Global Security, World Bank, as well as speakers in the Global Systems program (see above).
EDUCATING ABOUT COMPLEX SYSTEMS:
The major advances in complex systems research have led to increasing interest in developing educational programs that train students to think about the rich and sometimes difficult concepts of complex systems. We will have sessions on how to teach complex systems concepts. Contributions about all levels of education are welcome.
EDUCATION SYSTEM REFORM:
Frustrations about the education system and existing efforts at reform are leading to a need for complex systems insights on education system reform. A special session or multiple sessions will address this topic.
We are organizing special sessions on the exploration of complex systems concepts in the science fiction literature. Jonathan Vos Post (webmaster of magicdragon.com) will be chairing this conference thread including participation of Hugo & Nebula Award winner David Brin and other science fiction writers. Science fiction stories and novels explore our ideas about phy-bio-socio-tech relationships. They are not as much about the future as much as they are about our understanding of what is possible. Such explorations probe our understanding about the dependencies between environment, technology, biology and society. If we understand what possible social systems are, we have understood much about the nature of such systems. Similarly for biological systems, or combinations of biology and society, and so on. The synergy between this exploration and the study of complex systems should be apparent and we look forward to a fruitful dialog.
BIODIVERSITY, SPECIATION AND ECOLOGY:
Increasingly the discussion of evolutionary change is coupled to our understanding of ecological systems. Among the topics of interest are biodiversity, spatial populations, conservation, species vulnerability, speciation, and major evolutionary transitions.
BIOMEDICAL SIMULATION AND SYNTHETIC BIOLOGY:
We will be conducting one or more sessions on the macro and micro level modeling, design, synthesis, and novel utilization of existing biological systems, the modeling of physiological systems, and the development of new approaches to biomedical research.