I used to write a lot about the Santa Fe Institute and the fascinating trans-disciplinary research that goes on there, but in recent years I sorta lost touch. I went up last week for a visit to reconnect, and, among other things, have tea (sub/ad req):
SANTA FE — To understand the Santa Fe Institute, best to drop by around 3 in the afternoon for tea.
One recent afternoon around cakes and iced tea in the institute’s courtyard, the conversation drifted easily from linguistics to statistics to molecular biology to the history of geology to the history of astronomy in India to the big bang and the origin of the universe to quarks. In no particular order.
“It turns out,” paleontologist Doug Erwin said, “that if you get people together from very different disciplines and feed them, a lot of good things will happen.”