What is a complex system? | Karoline Wiesner & James Ladyman | TEDxUniversityofBristol

Beehives and the human brain. Two very different systems with one thing in common: coordination and order within them do not require an overall controller. Complexity scientists Dr Karoline Wiesner and Prof James Ladyman investigate why this is the case.

Karoline Wiesner is Assistant Professor in complexity sciences in the School of Mathematics at the University of Bristol. Her research focus is on Shannon’s mathematical theory of communication applied to complex systems. Application areas include proteins, glass formers, and stem cells. She also study the mathematical and philosophical foundations of complex systems.

James Ladyman is Professor of the Philosophy of Science at the University of Bristol and Honorary Visiting Professor at the University of York. He has worked extensively in scientific realism, constructive empiricism and structural realism. In 1998 he made the the distinction between epistemic and ontic forms of structural realism and has defended the latter since. Professor Ladyman was awarded the Philip Leverhulme Prize in Philosophy and Ethics in 2005 was awarded the American Library Association’s Outstanding Academic Text Award. He has been the editor of the The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science and Honorary Secretary of The British Society for the Philosophy of Science. He is the author of Every Thing Must Go: Metaphysics Naturalized, Understanding the Philosophy of Science and Arguing About Science.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx