Events 2017-19. Center for BioComplexity

For past events, click here:
Humboldt-Princeton Strategic Partnership Workshop (January 28-February 1)
Simon A. Levin and Daniel Rubenstein received funding through the Humboldt-Princeton Strategic Partnership grants to expand existing collaborations with Humboldt University and build a Cooperation and Collective Cognition Network that involves faculty, staff and students from both institutions. The Humboldt-Princeton CoCCon group met from January 28-February 1, 2019 at Princeton to give presentations on their work and discuss and outline new research goals.
Patterns in Biology Workshop, Princeton University (April 18-20)
Organized by Princeton EEB professors Corina Tarnita, Simon A. Levin, and Rob Pringle, this workshop focused on three broad realms of spatial patterning -- terrestrial patterns, aquatic patterns, and patterns in morphogenesis -- with the aim of exploring the extent to which these fields consider similar questions and have uncovered similar or different mechanisms of self-organization and pattern formation.
Food System Transformation to Improve Sustainability and Health: Integrating Social and Biophysical Dynamics Workshop, Stockholm Resilience Centre (August 20-21)
An outgrowth of the Earth in 2050 conference, this workshop among Stockholm Resilience Centre and Princeton University colleagues focused on how we can expand our understanding of interactions between the biophysical and social dynamics that are involved in improving the capacity of the food system to meet broader social goals (like human health and a sustainable planet). Its overarching goal was to outline the key challenges for building an integrated social-ecological system view of food system transitions using, among others, a conceptual and integrative modeling exercise around food system transition that can bring the social and biophysical understanding closer together.
Earth in 2050: Boundaries, Obstacles, and Opportunities, Princeton University (November 12-14)
Co-sponsored by the Stockholm Resilience Centre, Princeton International Fund, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, and PEI, this conference brought together renowned scholars from the sciences, social sciences, and architecture at Princeton and the SRC, as well as Princeton graduate students and postdoctoral researchers to focus on sustainability and resilience. Presentations and discussion centered on food and sustainability, critical transitions, urban infrastructure, sustainable use of soil and water resources, managing for resilience, biodiversity and conservation biology, and social mechnanisms for sustainability. The goal of this conference was to lay the foundation for future Princeton-SRC research and collaboration on these topics.
Understanding the Dynamics of Social Norms Workshop, Princeton University (November 27)
Organized by Simon A. Levin, Michael Oppenheimer, and Elke Weber, this workshop brought together a distinguished interdisciplinary group of scholars, as well as select graduate students and postdoctoral researchers, to first outline how "social norms" are defined and studied in various academic disciplines. In- depth group discussion on specific topics followed. In Group Discussion 1, participants considered questions like: Is there a taxonomy of different social norms, and if so, what are relevant distinctions?; What are the mechanisms by which social norms work, and do the mechanisms depend on what kind of social norms we are dealing with; and What factors of environment or decision-making play a role in which mechanisms are invoked and thus in the effectiveness of social norms? In Session 2, they looked at this static analysis of social norm dynamic, by examining the processes that lead to changes in social norms, focusing, among other things, on tipping points. In Session 3, participants went on to discuss whether and how the insights gleaned from the discussions could be put to use, for example how social norm change might be engineered. In this context, they reviewed both success and failure stories of attempted social norm change in different domains.

Levin, Oppenheimer, and Weber intend to distill these discussions into a small set of research questions/projects to be pursued by subsets of those who attended the workshop and possibly others