Conference themes

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EDU research can be divided into six major academic domains, and promising research themes within each domain. Each theme lists a few distinguished investigators (most not associated with the EDU community) in the theme, some of whom we hope to solicit for presentations or tutorials at future conferences.

Cosmology, Astrophysics, and Information Theory

  • Entropy Production and Infodynamics (Roderick Dewar, Stanley Salthe)
  • Evolution and Development of Information (William Harms, Gordana Dodig-Crnkovic, Seth Lloyd, Cliff Joslyn)
  • Evolutionary Cosmology (Lee Smolin, George FR Ellis, Quentin Smith)
  • Fine-Tuning Problem in Cosmology (Milan Cirkovic, John Leslie, John D. Barrow, Lawrence M. Krauss, Martin J. Rees)
  • Quantum Darwinism (Wojciech Zurek)
  • Self-Organizing Space-Time (Jan Ambjørn, Renate Loll)
  • Self-Similar and Scale Relative Cosmology (Robert Oldershaw, Marie-Noelle Celerier, Laurent Nottale)

Chemistry, Energetics, and Astrobiology

  • Chemical Evolution and the Origin of Life (Martin Nowak, Steen Rasmussen, D. Eric Smith)
  • Emergent Features of Chemistry (Robert Laughlin, Eric Scerri)
  • Free Energy Rate Density and Astrobiology (Eric Chaisson, Fred Spier)
  • Habitable Zones and Biofelicity (Helmut Lammer, Paul Davies, Chris Chyba)
  • RNA World Hypothesis (D. Eric Smith, Eörs Szathmáry)

Biology - Life Sciences

  • Acceleration in Evolutionary Transitions (Laurent Nottale, Jean Chaline, Pierre Grou, Robert Aunger)
  • Acceleration in Human Genetic Evolution (John Hawks, Eric T. Wang, Bob Moyzis)
  • Anthropoid Convergence (Dale Russell)
  • Developmental Ascendancy (James A. Coffman, Robert Ulanowicz)
  • Dynamical Patterning Modules and Genetic-Cellular Self Organization (Stuart A. Newman)
  • Evo Devo: Beyond Natural Selection (Robert Ulanowicz, Simon Conway-Morris, Gerd B. Müller)
  • Evo Devo and Epigenetics (Eva Jablonka)
  • Evolutionary Convergence (Simon Conway-Morris)
  • Evolutionary Escalation (Geerat Vermiej)
  • Hierarchy and Modularity (Werner Callebaut, Günter P. Wagner, Stan Salthe)
  • Hierarchy and Scale in Ecology (John Bonner, Geoffrey West)
  • Scale Relativity in Systems Biology (Charles Auffray, Geoffrey West, Laurent Nottale)

Biology - Cognitive and Social Sciences

  • Neural Darwinism in Development and Adulthood (Gerald Edelman, Olaf Sporns, Nicolas Lori)
  • Cognitive Selectionism (William Calvin, Donald T. Campbell, Daniel Dennett)
  • Integrated Information as Consciousness Development (Giulio Tononi, Christof Koch, Tomaso Poggio)
  • Evolution of Language and Universal Grammars (Stanislas Dehaene, Andrew Ira Nevins, Terrence Deacon)
  • Evolutionary Psychology (Jerome Barkow, Leda Cosmides, Michael Ghiselin, John Tooby)
  • Evolutionary Morality (Richard Joyce, Robert Wright, Herbert Gintis, Samuel Bowles, Robert Boyd, Ernst Fehr)
  • Evo Devo and Cognitive Psychology (Daniel J. Povinelli, Ronald Amundson, Robert Sapolsky)
  • Memes and Cultural Evo Devo (Robert Aunger, Ron Inglehart, Howard Bloom)
  • Evolutionary Social Systems (David Hull, Geoffrey Hodgson, Thorbjoern Knudsen, Joel Mokyr)

Economics, Technology and Computation

  • Evolutionary Economics (Richard Nelson, Kurt Dopfer, Hardy Hanappi, Samuel Bowles)
  • Institutions and Stigmergy (Eric Bonabeau, Mark Elliott, Benjamin Kerr, Francis Heylighen)
  • Niche Construction and Human-Machine Symbiosis (Andy Clark,F. John Odling-Smee, Kevin Laland, Norman Johnson)
  • Technology Performance Curves (Doyne Farmer, Christopher L. Magee, Bela Nagy)
  • Technical Productivity (Timothy F. Bresnahan, Robert Solow, Jack E. Triplett)
  • Computer Capacity and Information Growth (William D. Nordhaus, John F. Gantz, Ray Kurzweil, Hans Moravec)
  • Evolutionary Learning Agents and Evolutionary Computation (Peter Norvig, Ingo Rechenberg, Nick Bostrom)
  • Artificial Life (Chris Adami, John Holland, John Koza, Chris Langton)
  • Technological Intent and Autonomy (Kevin Kelly, Hans Moravec, Ray Kurzweil)

Transdisciplinarity (Complexity, Philosophy, Systems Theory)

  • Constructal Theory (Adrian Bejan)
  • Evolution and Development of Complexity (Yaneer Bar-Yam, Francis Heylighen, Harold Morowitz, Stan Salthe)
  • Self-Organization and Self-Assembly in Complexity (Carlos Gershenson, Francis Heylighen)
  • Evolutionary Values and Iterative Games (Herbert Gintis, Richard Joyce, Robert Wright)
  • CNS with Intelligence (James N. Gardner, Bela Balasz)

Future Conference Proposals

Complexity Transitions in Cosmic Evolution Development: Transition, Growth Curve, and Future Scenarios

1. Explore a Variety of Complexity Transition Definitions for Big History: Thermodynamic, Informational-Computational, Evolutionary, Developmental, Integrative, and Systemic
2. Associate these Definitions with a Variety of Tentative Growth Curve Hypotheses: Superexponential, Exponential, Logistic, and Other
3. Consider A Range of Transition and Growth Curve Scenarios Implied by these Hypotheses for the Future of Technological Innovation and Sustainability.

We wish to seek out and network transition scholars, periodization, and acceleration, multi-level evolution and development scholars, world system modelers, and their critics. Scholars who approach evolutionary transitions from thermodynamic, informational-computational, evolutionary, developmental, integrative, and systemic perspectives are particularly desired. We will seek to compare logistic, exponential, and superexponential models arising from a variety of complexity transition definitions, and finally, explore a range of scenarios these models propose for the future of innovation and sustainability, underscoring the great technical, political, economic, and social value of better scholarship and science in this area.