Cover art for podcast COMPLEXITY


59 EpisodesProduced by Santa Fe Institute, Michael GarfieldWebsite

Far-reaching conversations with a worldwide network of scientists and mathematicians, philosophers and artists developing new frameworks to explain our universe's deepest mysteries. Join host Michael Garfield at the Santa Fe Institute each week to learn about your world and the people who have dedic… read more


Better Scientific Modeling for Ecological & Social Justice with David Krakauer (Transmission Series Ep. 7)

Mathematical models of the world — be they in physics, economics, epidemiology — capture only details that researchers notice and deem salient. Rather than objective claims about reality, they encode (and thus enact) our blind spots. And the externalities created by those models — microscopic pathogens invisible to the naked eye, or differences in the social network structures of two neighborhoods, or food webs disrupted by urban development — have a way of biting back when we ignore them. Structural inequality created by an insufficient model jeopardizes not just the ones left off the map, but the entire systems in which they participate. Science fiction author Philip K. Dick put it well when we said that “Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away.” Ultimately, ecological and social justice is dependent on our rigorous empiricism and our dedication to describing all the relevant dimensions of our complex world.

Welcome to COMPLEXITY, the official podcast of the Santa Fe Institute. I’m your host, Michael Garfield, and each week we’ll bring you with us for far-ranging conversations with our worldwide network of rigorous researchers developing new frameworks to explain the deepest mysteries of the universe.

In this episode, Santa Fe Institute President David Krakauer returns to talk about the latest essays in SFI Transmission series, to shed light on the crucial under-examined margins of our maps — and how good science both enables and demands us to do better.

If you value our research and communication efforts, please consider making a one-time or recurring monthly donation at … and/or consider rating and reviewing us at Apple Podcasts. Thank you for listening!

Read the essays we discuss in this episode:

David Krakauer and Dan Rockmore on out-evolving COVID-19

Jon Machta on the noisy equilibrium of disease containment & economic pain

Brian Enquist on how pandemics rapidly reshape the evolutionary & ecological landscape

Melanie Moses and Kathy Powers on models that protect the vulnerable

Visit our website for more information or to support our science and communication efforts.

Join our Facebook discussion group to meet like minds and talk about each episode.

Podcast Theme Music by Mitch Mignano.

Follow us on social media:

Mentioned in this episode:

Melanie Moses, Kathy Powers, Brian Enquist, Jon Machta, Dan Rockmore, David Krakauer, Michael Garfield, Edgar Allan Poe, Auguste Dupin, Dan Brown, Vera Rubin, Kent Ford, Fritz Zwicky, Robert Koch, Martinus Beijerinck, Charles Darwin, Jennifer Doudna, CRISPR, Cory Doctorow, Peter Singer, William Hamilton, Lauren Ancel Meyers, Caroline Buckee, David B. Kinney, Kurt Wiesenfeld, Chao Tang, Per Bak, Cris Moore, Sidney Redner, Manfred Laubichler, William Gibson, François de Liocourt, Andrey Kolmogorov, Geoffrey West, Andy Dobson, Jessica Flack, Steve Lansing, Nicolas Rashevsky, Darcy Wentworth Thompson, Mahzarin Banaji

Educational emoji reaction


Interesting emoji reaction


Funny emoji reaction


Agree emoji reaction


Love emoji reaction


Wow emoji reaction




A free podcast app for iPhone and Android

  • User-created playlists and collections
  • Download episodes while on WiFi to listen without using mobile data
  • Stream podcast episodes without waiting for a download
  • Queue episodes to create a personal continuous playlist
RadioPublic on iOS and Android
Or by RSS
RSS feed

Connect with listeners

Podcasters use the RadioPublic listener relationship platform to build lasting connections with fans

Yes, let's begin connecting
Browser window

Find new listeners

  • A dedicated website for your podcast
  • Web embed players designed to convert visitors to listeners in the RadioPublic apps for iPhone and Android
Clicking mouse cursor

Understand your audience

  • Capture listener activity with affinity scores
  • Measure your promotional campaigns and integrate with Google and Facebook analytics
Graph of increasing value

Engage your fanbase

  • Deliver timely Calls To Action, including email acquistion for your mailing list
  • Share exactly the right moment in an episode via text, email, and social media
Icon of cellphone with money

Make money

  • Tip and transfer funds directly to podcastsers
  • Earn money for qualified plays in the RadioPublic apps with Paid Listens