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MIR@W Day - Complexity in Social Dynamics

Monday 24 January 2005

Complexity in Social Dynamics

Organisers: Robert MacKay (Maths, Warwick) and
Graham Room (Social Policy, Bath)

All talks will take place in Mathematics Institute Lecture Room B3.02

This is the fifth in an ESRC and MIR@W-supported series on Socio-Dynamics, whose aim is to cross-fertilise between social sciences and mathematics (including statistics and physics), especially in the area of dynamic self-organising systems. The purpose this time is to enlarge the debate from economics, business and finance to sociology, social policy, politics and geography. We hope that the workshop will be interactive and informal with comment and discussion interspersed. To establish some common ground, Philip Ball's article "Utopia Theory" (Physics World, October 2003, pp.29-33, is recommended as prior reading. A final conference will take place in London 9-11 May 2005.

  • 13.15 Welcome and introduction, Robert MacKay
  • 13.20 Philip Ball (Science writer; author of recent book "Critical Mass")
    Is there a physics of society?
    discussant: Graham Room
  • 14.05 Nigel Gilbert (Sociology, Surrey; an author of "Simulation for the social scientist")
    Computational social science
    discussant: Jonathan Cave (Economics)
  • 14.50 Michael Batty (Geography and Director of Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis, UCL; author of "Fractal Cities")
    Scaling and emergence in city systems: what can statistical physics tell us about cities?
    discussant: David Rand (Mathematics)
  • 15.35 Tea in the Mathematics institute Common Room
  • 16.05 Robert Geyer (Politics and Director of Centre for Complexity Research, Liverpool; author of "Beyond the third way: the science of complexity and the politics of choice", Brit J Pol Int Rel 5 (2003) 237)
    Using complexity to bridge the science-society gap
    discussant: David Firth (Statistics)
  • 16.50 David Byrne (Social Policy, Durham; author of "Complexity theory and the social sciences")
    How do we get there from here and which there is it we want to get to?
    discussant: Susan Hurley (Politics & International Relations)
  • 17.35 Summing up, led by Graham Room
  • 17.50 Drinks and snacks on the Common Room

For further information please contact:
Programme Secretary by email: