Complexity Science and Past Complex Systems

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Registration free but requiredRegister here.

How can complexity science help us better understand past and present complex social systems as diverse as the Roman economy and online social networks? This one-day workshop will explore the role complexity science, and in particular its use of network approaches, can play for the study of the human past, and how it enables comparisons between past and present-day complex social systems.

Complexity science is now a thriving field and its application for the study of the human past shows huge potential. This workshop will explore this potential.

A complex system consists of separate entities that interact according to a set of often very simple rules, but together those entities give rise to unexpected properties that are very different from the properties of the entities that produced them. The human brain can be considered a complex system, in which neurons communicate via synapses but collectively give rise to phenomena such as consciousness. Not just individual humans but also entire past, present and future human societies can be conceptualized as such complex systems and studied from the perspective of complexity science. The network approaches that lie at the heart of PastNet make up a big part of the complexity science toolbox to study complex systems.

Keynote speaker:
Prof. Albert Diaz Guilera (University of Barcelona, Director of the University of Barcelona Institute for Complex Systems)

Confirmed speakers:
Dr Takaaki Aoki
Dr Tom Brughmans
Dr Tim Evans
Dr Renaud Lambiotte
Maria del Rio-Chanona

Preliminary programme:
9:30 registration and coffee
10:00 invited talk 1
10:30 invited talk 2
11:00 keynote
12:00 lunch and coffee
13:00 invited talk 3
13:30 invited talk 4
14:00 invited talk 5
14:30 invited talk 6
15:00 pub time

This event is organised by PastNet, an interdisciplinary research network of Oxford-based researchers with a shared interest in the use of network approaches for the study of social systems and the human past.

PastNet and this workshop are supported by TORCH, the Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities.