12 episodes

Santa Fe Institute is famous for tackling "big questions" across all spatio-temporal scales, including those associated with deep history. These lectures address such topics as how life emerged, how innovative mechanisms in biology changed over hundreds of millions of years, and how languages evolved.

NOTE: Please excuse the production quality of some of our older videos. They were transferred from our video tape archive.

The Long View Santa Fe Institute

    • Natural Sciences

Santa Fe Institute is famous for tackling "big questions" across all spatio-temporal scales, including those associated with deep history. These lectures address such topics as how life emerged, how innovative mechanisms in biology changed over hundreds of millions of years, and how languages evolved.

NOTE: Please excuse the production quality of some of our older videos. They were transferred from our video tape archive.

    • video
    The Ecology of Indoor Environments: Microbial Biodiversity and Sustainable Well Being

    The Ecology of Indoor Environments: Microbial Biodiversity and Sustainable Well Being

    The vast majority of earth’s species are microorganisms. Recent advances in measuring and visualizing microbial diversity in nature have prompted a new era of microbial research, one that builds on the foundations of well established plant and animal biodiversity research. SFI External Professor Jessica Green discusses how explorations of microbial biodiversity in the indoor environment may radically change thinking about sustainability, human health, and well being.

    • video
    Social and Economic Change in Chaco Canyon A.D. 850-1150

    Social and Economic Change in Chaco Canyon A.D. 850-1150

    UNM has been conducting field studies at Chaco since 2004 with the goal of improving our understanding of socioeconomic organization and change during the Bonito Phase (ca. AD 850 to 1150). Our initial focus was re-opening trenches originally excavated in the 1920s at Pueblo Bonito in order to obtain new geoarchaeological data on water channels and possible canals. That original research has expanded to include the discovery of cacao associated with special ceramics and the development of a GIS-based hydrological reconstruction. In this presentation we summarize our work and results.

    • 53 min
    • video
    The Club of Rome and Limits To Growth: Achieving the Best Possible Future

    The Club of Rome and Limits To Growth: Achieving the Best Possible Future

    It is now too late to prevent serious effects for our society from climate change and fossil fuel depletion. But there are still many ways to prepare for future problems, and thereby achieve the best possible future.
    Dennis Meadows, co-author of the 1972 report, Limits to Growth, will summarize some recent research on the timing and the magnitude of future growth limits, and he will sketch out some initiatives that can usefully be taken now at the state and regional level. The lecture is generously underwritten by Los Alamos National Bank and the Peters Family Art Foundation.

    • 1 hr 32 min
    • video
    The Decline of Classic Maya Civilization: A Systems Perspective

    The Decline of Classic Maya Civilization: A Systems Perspective

    The decline and abandonment of many key cities in the Southern Maya Lowlands around A.D. 800 has long attracted scholarly and public attention. While archaeologists now understand – contrary to previous thought – that Maya civilization did not collapse at this time, as a number of Maya cities continued to thrive up until the 16th century Spanish Conquest, the causes of the relatively rapid demise of cities such as Tikal, Palenque, and Copan remain of great interest. New archaeological, epigraphic, and environmental information have enabled archaeologists to form better models that provide more systemic perspectives on this decline than ever before. Sabloff examines the new data and models and discusses their potential relevance to problems facing the world today.

    • 1 hr 9 min
    • video
    The Mother of Mass Extinctions

    The Mother of Mass Extinctions

    During the greatest biodiversity crisis in the history of life some 250 million years ago, over 90% of all the species in the oceans died off in just a few hundred thousand years. Douglas Erwin, author of the new book Extinction: How Life on Earth Nearly Ended 250 Million Years Ago discusses his research in China, South Africa and the western US in search of the causes and consequences of this great mass extinction.

    • 1 hr 13 min
    • video
    An Ancient Perspective on the Urban Experience

    An Ancient Perspective on the Urban Experience

    • 1 hr 4 min

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