Public Panel: Global crises call for a new scientific understanding


May 31, 2022

The 21st century crises, from climate change or financial crises to the Covid-19 pandemic or the war in Ukraine, demand new scientific understanding and approaches, urged leading academics and public sector representatives on Monday at a panel discussion hosted by the CSH.

 

To address the challenges facing society, democracy, and humanity as a whole, the six panelis called for more scientific collaboration. In addition, they stressed the importance of accepting uncertainty in science.

 

“Whatever we try to foresee and predict is imbibed in probabilities, and there are significant areas of uncertainty,” said Helga Nowotny, chair of the CSH Science Advisory Board. Additionally, Helga mentioned responsibility—individual, institutional, and collective—and complexity science as key concepts in dealing with the grand challenges society faces.

 

“How do you take responsibility for present actions whose first impacts will appear somewhere in time—and we have no idea when—and will affect different groups differently?,” questioned Helga. “Is complexity science pointing in the right direction? It has produced tools, methods, and insights. But we need to have a much stronger engagement and commitment to deal with the urgent issues of our time.”

 

Luciano Pietronero, CSH External Faculty and professor at the University of Rome ‘Sapienza’, also emphasized the importance of dealing with uncertainty in science. He spoke of the original project he pioneered with the Italian government in order to create “scientific startups”. “My view is that we, as scientists, are too conservative. The people investing in startups accept a failure of 90 percent, for instance,” said Luciano during the panel moderated by W. Wayt Gibbs, our current COSY Journalist in Residence.

 

Greater collaboration

 

Science can contribute in three different aspects to policy making, said Henriette Spyra, Director-General Innovation & Technology at the Austrian Federal Ministry for Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation & Technology: by scrutiny, systemic approaches, and radical collaboration. “Scrutiny is not only about setting objectives but also about achieving impact. We really do need more monitoring than we do now,” stated Henriette.

 

“On the topic of systemic approaches, I think it’s really important to get down to the details. We need to dive deeper on the mechanics of how government, organizations, rules, and regulations work, for instance. And obviously, this calls for greater collaboration.” In addition, we should think about “radical transparency and collaboration (between science and society),” added Henriette, mentioning an article in which scientists call for a moratorium on climate change research until governments take real action.

 

Lessons from the pandemic

 

CSH’s Peter Klimek also stressed the urgency of taking a systemic approach when handling complex issues. “We can dissect a problem into one million smaller problems. None of these problems is fun to work with. In fact, all these problems are hard to work with before we can make a millimeter of progress. But, at the end of the day, that’s what we need to do as scientists.”

 

“This is one of the lessons learned from the pandemic. It’s not enough just to wear a mask, or just to be vaccinated. We have to solve one million little problems at the same time.”

 

Optimism

 

Despite the present disruptions and changes, Henriette claims herself to be “stubbornly optimistic.” J. Doyne Farmer, CSH External Faculty and professor at the University of Oxford, shares the same optimism. “I think it’s a tremendously exciting point to be a complex system scientist because we can really solve problems now that have huge effects on the future course of the world,” he said. “We have tools that will allow us to solve these problems and create a new social science that will go far beyond what we were able to do in the past, especially due to the incredible amount of data. But we have to make this happen.

 

“We’re going to take many false steps, but we can change things if we start to, collectively, think about a model and understand our future and convince people to take paths that respect our human nature,” adds Doyne.

 

Individual minds

 

Simon DeDeo, CSH External Faculty and professor at Carnegie Mellon University, emphasized the individual’s role in managing the transition in the course of a crisis. “What we need to learn as scientists—and what we need to enable policymakers to do—, is to create better possibility machines. Not probability machines, not things that make the world more predictable in the ways we want. We may need extraordinarily imaginative thinking at the level of the individual”, stated Simon. “If, from 1950 to 2020, we were in a world of ‘good systems making good citizens,’ in this future we need to empower good citizens to make better systems.”


Event

CSH Talk by Zlata Tabachová: "Supply chain shock propagation and financial systemic risk"


Dec 02, 2022 | 15:0016:00

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Publication

N. Pontika, T. Klebel, A. Correia, H. Metzler, P. Knoth, T. Ross-Hellauer

Indicators of research quality, quantity, openness and responsibility in institutional review, promotion and tenure policies across seven countries

Quantitative Science Studies 1-49

Press

MAMMOth: KI-Tendenz zur Diskriminierung durchbrechen [feat.Fariba Karimi]


Brutkasten, Nov 22, 2022

Publication

H. Kong, S. Martin-Gutierrez, F. Karimi

Influence of the first-mover advantage on the gender disparities in physics citations

Communications Physics 5 (243) (2022)

Event

CSH Talk by Elma Dervic: "Unravelling cradle-to-grave disease trajectories from multilayer comorbidity networks"


Dec 16, 2022 | 15:3016:00

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Press

A charada do desequilibrio de genero na ciencia [Portuguese] [feat.Fariba Karimi]


Pesquisa Fapesp, Nov 17, 2022

Research News

Dec 6, 2022

Complexity Science meets Digital Humanism

Spotlight

Dec 2, 2022

Avoiding supply chain bottlenecks with Big Data

Press

Was crime as bad as it was portrayed [feat.Rafael Prieto-Curiel]


abcNEWS, Nov 18, 2022

People

Nov 30, 2022

Bridging the gap between academia and industry

Event

CSH Talk by Meike Zehlike: "Beyond Incompatibility: Trade-offs between Mutually Exclusive Fairness Criteria in Machine Learning and Law"


Dec 16, 2022 | 15:0015:30

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Publication

W. Schueller, J. Wachs, V. D. P. Servedio, S. Thurner, V. Loreto

Evolving collaboration, dependencies, and use in the Rust Open Source Software ecosystem

Scientific Data 9 (2022) 703

Event

CSH Talk by Zlata Tabachová: "Supply chain shock propagation and financial systemic risk"


Dec 02, 2022 | 15:0016:00

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Publication

N. Pontika, T. Klebel, A. Correia, H. Metzler, P. Knoth, T. Ross-Hellauer

Indicators of research quality, quantity, openness and responsibility in institutional review, promotion and tenure policies across seven countries

Quantitative Science Studies 1-49

Press

MAMMOth: KI-Tendenz zur Diskriminierung durchbrechen [feat.Fariba Karimi]


Brutkasten, Nov 22, 2022

Publication

H. Kong, S. Martin-Gutierrez, F. Karimi

Influence of the first-mover advantage on the gender disparities in physics citations

Communications Physics 5 (243) (2022)

Event

CSH Talk by Elma Dervic: "Unravelling cradle-to-grave disease trajectories from multilayer comorbidity networks"


Dec 16, 2022 | 15:3016:00

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Press

A charada do desequilibrio de genero na ciencia [Portuguese] [feat.Fariba Karimi]


Pesquisa Fapesp, Nov 17, 2022

Research News

Dec 6, 2022

Complexity Science meets Digital Humanism

Spotlight

Dec 2, 2022

Avoiding supply chain bottlenecks with Big Data

Press

Was crime as bad as it was portrayed [feat.Rafael Prieto-Curiel]


abcNEWS, Nov 18, 2022

People

Nov 30, 2022

Bridging the gap between academia and industry

Event

CSH Talk by Meike Zehlike: "Beyond Incompatibility: Trade-offs between Mutually Exclusive Fairness Criteria in Machine Learning and Law"


Dec 16, 2022 | 15:0015:30

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Publication

W. Schueller, J. Wachs, V. D. P. Servedio, S. Thurner, V. Loreto

Evolving collaboration, dependencies, and use in the Rust Open Source Software ecosystem

Scientific Data 9 (2022) 703

People

Nov 30, 2022

Bridging the gap between academia and industry

Research News

Dec 6, 2022

Complexity Science meets Digital Humanism

Spotlight

Dec 2, 2022

Avoiding supply chain bottlenecks with Big Data

Research News

Nov 28, 2022

New evidence for possible domino effects in cryptoassets

Spotlight

Nov 28, 2022

BUSTS AFTER BOOMS, BUT WHY?

Research News

Nov 17, 2022

New EU project to reduce discrimination through AI

Research News

Oct 13, 2022

Yes we can -- STEM is also for women

Research News

Oct 13, 2022

Predicting the economic downturn during the pandemic

Press

MAMMOth: KI-Tendenz zur Diskriminierung durchbrechen [feat.Fariba Karimi]


Brutkasten, Nov 22, 2022

Press

Was crime as bad as it was portrayed [feat.Rafael Prieto-Curiel]


abcNEWS, Nov 18, 2022

Press

A charada do desequilibrio de genero na ciencia [Portuguese] [feat.Fariba Karimi]


Pesquisa Fapesp, Nov 17, 2022

Press

COVID : Les animaux peuvent-ils attraper le virus? [French] [feat.Amélie Desvars-Larrive]


News24, Nov 17, 2022

Press

Departure of Tech Workers Weighs on Russian Economy [feat.Johannes Wachs]


The Wall Street Journal, Nov 14, 2022

Press

Männer profitieren stärker vom Pionier-Vorteil als Frauen [feat.Fariba Karimi]


Spektrum Online, Oct 26, 2022

Press

Can your phone tell if a bridge is in good shape?


Scienmag, Nov 3, 2022

Press

Which Animals Catch COVID? This Database Has Dozens of Species and Counting [feat.Amélie Desvars-Larrive]


Scientific American, Oct 19, 2022

Press

Hinweise auf subtile Bevorzugung von Arbeiten von Männern in Physik [feat.Fariba Karimi]


APA Science, Oct 14, 2022

Press

Female representation in physics: Can we fix it?[feat.Fariba Karimi]


Cosmos Magazine , Oct 17, 2022

Press

Hundreds of Russia's top software developers may have left the country [feat.Johannes Wachs]


New Scientist , Oct 19, 2022

Publication

W. Schueller, J. Wachs, V. D. P. Servedio, S. Thurner, V. Loreto

Evolving collaboration, dependencies, and use in the Rust Open Source Software ecosystem

Scientific Data 9 (2022) 703

Publication

N. Pontika, T. Klebel, A. Correia, H. Metzler, P. Knoth, T. Ross-Hellauer

Indicators of research quality, quantity, openness and responsibility in institutional review, promotion and tenure policies across seven countries

Quantitative Science Studies 1-49

Publication

H. Kong, S. Martin-Gutierrez, F. Karimi

Influence of the first-mover advantage on the gender disparities in physics citations

Communications Physics 5 (243) (2022)

Publication

A. Pichler, M. Pangallo, M. del Rio-Chanona, F. Lafond, D. Farmer

Forecasting the propagation of pandemic shocks with a dynamic input-output model

Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control (2022) 104527

Publication

J. Lasser, S. Taofeek Aroyehun, et al.

Social media sharing of low quality news sources by political elites

PNAS Nexus (2022) pgac186

Publication

R. Prieto Curiel, A. Schumann, I. Heo, P. Heinrigs

Detecting cities with high intermediacy in the African urban network

Computers, Environment and Urban Systems 98 (2022) 101869

Publication

T. Reisch, G. Heiler, C. Diem, P. Klimek, S. Thurner

Monitoring supply networks from mobile phone data for estimating the systemic risk of an economy

Scientific Reports 12 (13347) (2022)

Publication

G. De Marzo, F. Pandolfelli, V.D.P. Servedio

Modeling innovation in the cryptocurrency ecosystem

Scientific Reports 12 (12942) (2022)

Publication

A. Nerpel, et al.

SARS-ANI: a global open access dataset of reported SARS-CoV-2 events in animals

Scientific Data 9 (438) (2022)

Publication

M. Kaleta, J. Lasser, E. Dervic, et al.

Stress-testing the resilience of the Austrian healthcare system using agent-based simulation

Nature Communications 13 (4259) (2022)

Publication

F. Amman, et al.

Viral variant-resolved wastewater surveillance of SARS-CoV-2 at national scale

Nature Biotechnology (2022)

Publication

J. V. Camp, A. Desvars-Larrive, N. Nowotny, C. Walzer

Monitoring urban zoonotic virus activity: Are city rats a promising surveillance tool for emerging viruses?

Viruses 14 (7) (2022) 1516

Event

CSH Talk by Zlata Tabachová: "Supply chain shock propagation and financial systemic risk"


Dec 02, 2022 | 15:0016:00

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Event

CSH Workshop: "Innovation and obsolescence in the space of the possible"


Dec 12, 2022Dec 14, 2022

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Event

CSH Talk by Meike Zehlike: "Beyond Incompatibility: Trade-offs between Mutually Exclusive Fairness Criteria in Machine Learning and Law"


Dec 16, 2022 | 15:0015:30

Complexity Science Hub Vienna

Event

CSH Talk by Elma Dervic: "Unravelling cradle-to-grave disease trajectories from multilayer comorbidity networks"


Dec 16, 2022 | 15:3016:00

Complexity Science Hub Vienna