Marshall Abrams is associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He has a PhD in philosophy from the University of Chicago and was a National Science Foundation–sponsored postdoctoral fellow at Duke University’s Center for Philosophy of Biology. His research focuses on teasing out what is implied about natural processes by scientists’ uses of models, on developing and applying new ideas about probability to biological and social sciences, and on using computer models and other methods to explore new roles for humanistic conceptions of culture in scientific research. He has written on mental representation and biological function and has collaborated on scientific research concerning natural selection on genes influencing obesity and diabetes.
Claes Andersson is associate professor and senior researcher in complex systems in the Department of Space, Earth, and Environment, Chalmers University of Technology, and external fellow at the European Center for Living Technology in Venice. He has a PhD in complex systems and has held research positions at Los Alamos National Laboratory and the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia. His research is focused on the long-term and large-scale evolution of societal systems, focusing on the deep human past and urban and regional dynamics, as well as on fundamental issues in complex systems.
Mark A. Bedau is professor of philosophy at Reed College and received his PhD in philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. His work focuses on the philosophical implications of the emergence and open-ended evolution of life, mind, and technology, their social and ethical implications, and their study by high-throughput experimental methods as well as models and simulations. He has helped pioneer methods for measuring the evolutionary activity of evolving systems, for designing and creating complex biochemical systems with desired emergent properties, and for studying the evolution of technology by mining patent data. He has been editor in chief of the journal Artificial Life for more than a decade. His edited volumes include Emergence (with Paul Humphreys), The Nature of Life (with Carol Cleland), Protocells: Bridging Nonliving and Living Matter (with S. Rasmussen, L. Chen, D. Deamer, D. C. Krakauer, N. H. Packard, and P. F. Stadler), The Ethics of Protocells: Moral and Social Implications of Creating Life in the Laboratory (with Emily Parke), and Living Technology: Five Questions (with Pelle Guldborg Hansen, Emily Parke, and Steen Rasmussen).
James A. Evans is professor of sociology and member of the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science program at the University of Chicago. He directs the Knowledge Lab, a center focused on using large-scale publication data and machine learning to perform science studies research. He is current and founding faculty director of the Computational Social Science program at Chicago. His research focuses on the collective system of thinking and knowing, ranging from the distribution of attention and intuition, the origin of ideas, and shared habits of reasoning to processes of agreement (and dispute), the accumulation of certainty (and doubt), and the texture—novelty, ambiguity, topology—of collective understanding. He is especially interested in innovation—how new ideas and technologies emerge and evolve—and the role that social and technical institutions, including the Internet, artificial intelligence, markets, and collaborations, play in collective cognition and discovery. His work has been published in Science, Social Studies of Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, American Sociological Review, American Journal of Sociology, and many other outlets.
Jacob G. Foster is assistant professor of sociology at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a computational sociologist interested in the evolutionary dynamics of ideas, the social production of collective intelligence, and the mutual constitution of culture and cognition. His empirical work blends computational methods with qualitative insights from science studies to probe the strategies, dispositions, and social processes that shape the production and persistence of scientific ideas. He uses machine learning to mine the cultural meanings buried in text and computational methods from macroevolution to understand the dynamics of cultural populations. He also develops formal models of the structure and dynamics of ideas and institutions, with an emerging theoretical focus on the rich nexus of cognition, culture, and computation. After studying mathematical physics at Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, he received his PhD in physics from the University of Calgary and was a postdoctoral scholar in the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago. He is cofounder of the Metaknowledge Research Network, established with a generous grant from the John Templeton Foundation, and codirector of the Diverse Intelligences Summer Institute, established with a generous grant from the Templeton World Charity Foundation. His work has appeared in American Sociological Review, Science, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Poetics, Sociological Science, and Social Networks.
Michel Janssen holds a PhD in history and philosophy of science from the University of Pittsburgh and is professor of history of science at the University of Minnesota. His work mainly focuses on the genesis of relativity and quantum theory in the early decades of the twentieth century. Before coming to Minnesota in 2000, he was an editor at the Einstein Papers Project. More recently, he coedited The Cambridge Companion to Einstein.
Sabina Leonelli is a Turing Fellow and professor of philosophy and history of science at the University of Exeter, UK, where she codirects the Exeter Centre for the Study of the Life Sciences and leads the data studies research strand. Her research focuses on the philosophy of data-intensive science, especially the methods and assumptions involved in the production, dissemination, and use of big data for discovery; the ways in which the open science movement is redefining what counts as research and knowledge across different research environments; and the epistemic status of experimental organisms as models and data sources, particularly in plant science. She has published widely within the philosophy of science, as well as biology and science and technology studies, and is the author of Data-Centric Biology: A Philosophical Study (Lakatos Award 2018).
Alan C. Love holds a PhD in history and philosophy of science from the University of Pittsburgh and is professor of philosophy at the University of Minnesota. His research focuses on a variety of philosophical issues in biology, such as conceptual change, explanatory pluralism, the structure of evolutionary theory, reductionism, the nature of historical science, and interdisciplinary epistemology. Much of his work has concentrated on the concepts of innovation and novelty in evolutionary developmental biology (evo-devo), which has elucidated how the structure of problems serves to organize explanatory endeavors across disciplines. In particular, this illuminates how reductionist research programs in molecular biology articulate with inquiry at higher levels of organization in the life sciences to better understand biological complexity. More recently, he has explored similar issues in developmental biology to understand the intersection of genetics and physics in explaining complex biological phenomena.
Massimo Maiocchi is a research fellow in the Humanities Department of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice. He is an expert in history of the Ancient Near East and Assyriology (Sumerian, Akkadian, Eblaite), with special regard to cuneiform texts from the fourth and third millennia B.C.E. He was a postdoctoral researcher and lecturer at the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of the University of Chicago, where he expanded his interests to include grammatology. He published two monographs concerned with the edition of Old Akkadian cuneiform tablets from southern Mesopotamia (Cornell University Studies in Assyriology and Sumerology 13 and 19). His research focuses on how writing affected social and urban development in early Mesopotamia, approaching ancient sources through the prism of traditional philology, textual criticism, and Digital Humanities. He is associate editor of the Ebla Digital Archives project (http://ebda.cnr.it, under the direction of L. Milano), providing the online edition of the entire cuneiform corpus unearthed at Ebla (modern Tell Mardikh Syria). He participated in archaeological expeditions in Syria (Tell Mozan) and survey projects in Iraq.
Joseph D. Martin is assistant professor of history at Durham University. He holds a PhD in the history of science, technology, and medicine from the University of Minnesota; previously taught at Colby College, Michigan State University, and the University of Cambridge; and was a research fellow at the Consortium for History of Science Technology and Medicine in Philadelphia and the Centre for History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Leeds. His research interests span the history and philosophy of modern science and technology, with an emphasis on the United States during the Cold War. His book Solid State Insurrection examines the solid state and condensed matter physics community in the United States and exposes the importance of its distinctive disciplinary ideals and rich connections with technology for maintaining the prestige physics enjoyed throughout the Cold War era.
Salikoko S. Mufwene is the Frank J. McLoraine Distinguished Service Professor of Linguistics and the College, professor on the Committee on Evolutionary Biology, and professor on the Committee on the Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science at the University of Chicago. His current research is on language evolution from an ecological perspective. His books include The Ecology of Language Evolution; Créoles, écologie sociale, evolution linguistique: Cours donnés au Collège de France durant l’automne 2003; and Language Evolution: Contact, Competition, and Change. He has edited or coedited several books, including Complexity in Language: Developmental and Evolutionary Perspectives (with Christophe Coupé and François Pellegrino); Iberian Imperialism and Language Evolution in Latin America; Colonisation, globalisation, vitalité du français (coedited with Cécile B. Vigouroux); and Globalization and Language Vitality: Perspectives from Africa (with Cécile B. Vigouroux). He is the founding editor of Cambridge Approaches to Language Contact and was a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Lyon.
Nancy J. Nersessian is Regents’ Professor (Emerita), Georgia Institute of Technology, and research associate, Department of Psychology, Harvard University. Her research in philosophy of science, history of science, and cognitive science focuses on the creative research practices of scientists and engineers, especially how their modeling practices lead to fundamentally new ways of understanding the world. Her research on the bioengineering sciences seeks to understand the dynamic interplay of cognition and culture in pioneering research laboratories and how these laboratories foster and sustain creative and innovative practices. This research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Cognitive Science Society and a Foreign Member of the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her numerous publications include Creating Scientific Concepts (Patrick Suppes Prize in Philosophy of Science, 2011) and Science as Psychology: Sense-Making and Identity in Science Practice (with L. Osbeck, K. Malone, and W. Newstetter; William James Book Prize, 2012).
Paul E. Smaldino is assistant professor of cognitive and information sciences and a core faculty member of the quantitative and systems biology graduate group at the University of California, Merced. His research focuses on using mathematical and computational models to study social and evolutionary processes, including those related to cooperation, communication, and the behavior of scientific communities. His degrees and appointments have included residencies in departments of physics, psychology, medicine, anthropology, political science, and computer science.
Anton Törnberg is senior lecturer in sociology at Gothenburg University. His research interests lie on the boundary between sociology and complexity science, with a focus on social movements and collective action. His recent articles include “Combining Transition Studies and Social Movement Theory: Towards a New Research Agenda” in Theory and Society.
Petter Törnberg is assistant professor in political sociology at the University of Amsterdam. He has a PhD in complex systems and has held several international research positions as well as positions outside academia as a software developer and data analysis consultant. His research is highly interdisciplinary and tends to lie on the boundary between social science and complex systems, combining computational methods with qualitative approaches to contribute to sociological theory. This mixed-methods approach includes natural language processing, social network analysis, and computational simulations along with a more philosophical direction, including conceptual work on the epistemology of digital data and the complexity of social systems.
Gilbert B. Tostevin received his PhD in Paleolithic archaeology from Harvard University. He served as a visiting faculty member at Williams College (Massachusetts) from 1999 to 2001. Since 2001, he has been a faculty member in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Minnesota. He has conducted archaeological research at Middle and Upper Paleolithic sites in the Levant and Central Europe for more than twenty years. He is leading a new multidisciplinary excavation team investigating Neanderthal adaptations in Southeastern Europe at the rock shelter of Crvena Stijena “Red Rock” in Montenegro. His specialization is lithic analysis, focusing on its articulation with cultural transmission theory and behavioral archaeology. His more significant publications in this area include Seeing Lithics: A Middle-Range Theory for Testing for Cultural Transmission in the Pleistocene.
William C. Wimsatt studied engineering physics and philosophy at Cornell University and received his PhD in philosophy at the University of Pittsburgh. He is Peter B. Ritzma Professor in Philosophy, Evolutionary Biology at the University of Chicago Emeritus and was the Winton Chair of Liberal Arts at the University of Minnesota. He has written on functional organization, explanation, evolution, reductionism and reductionistic research strategies across the sciences, levels of organization and mechanistic explanation, units of selection, heuristics, emergence, mathematical modeling, robustness, satisficing, generative entrenchment, error-tolerant systems in biology and science, and methods and problems in studying complex systems. Re-engineering Philosophy for Limited Beings integrates many of these themes, some of which have been continued in the edited volumes Characterizing the Robustness of Science (with L. Soler, E. Trisio, and T. Nickles) and Developing Scaffolds in Evolution, Culture, and Cognition (with L. Caporael and J. Griesemer). He currently works primarily on cultural evolution and the role of generative entrenchment in evolutionary processes in biology, technology, and culture.