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Center for the Dynamics of Social Complexity (DySoC)

DySoC Director Alex Bentley

Under the direction of Prof. Alex Bentley, DySoC is being re-imagined for a new era. The Center will focus on computational and evolutionary study of innovation, cultural and social change. Prominent research themes for DySoC will include computational social science, cultural evolution, and the social complexity of science. Pursuit of these domains will involve computational and data-driven research, interdisciplinary collaboration on emerging funding trends, applicability in policy and industry, and innovative educational programs. A schedule of seminars and workshops will follow for the 2024-2025 academic year.

Computational social science seeks coherent patterns in complex, often large-scale, human behavioral data. In the highly-interconnected realms of public health, socio-economic and environmental change, offers a means for addressing societal challenges are complex and fast-changing, with evidence that is ephemeral, indirect, conflicting, non-standardized and interdependent.

Cultural evolution is the study of how human cognition, culture, and societies co-evolved. The field seeks fundamental understanding of cooperation and conflict in past, present and future societies, from ancient origins to early societies and new technological media.

The social complexity of science expands out from innovation within an exponentially-growing corpus of published science into the wider information ecosystem– across nations, institutions, social networks and cultures. This sub-theme also explores how misinformation, increasingly generated by AI, spreads to affect public trust in science, civic values and different socio-cultural narratives.