Scientific divulgation of Complex Systems Research on the Media
How Kevin Bacon Cured Cancer (part 1)
A documentary from ABC Television presenting the research on Complex Networks, based on the idea that anyone on the planet can be connected in just a few steps of association.
Transcription of the text presenting the documentary How Kevin Bacon Cured Cancer, from the ABC1 website:
"We've all heard of 'six degrees of separation', the idea that everyone in the world can be connected in just a few steps. But what if those steps don't just relate to people but also to viruses, neurons, proteins and even to fashion trends? What if this 'six degrees of separation' allowed us an insight into something at the core of Nature?
We used to think the way in which web pages, power grids and people tied together was more or less random. But recently two young physicists independently discovered that fundamental laws govern networks. It's a discovery that may prove as important as Newton's observations of gravity or Darwin's theory of evolution.
How Kevin Bacon Cured Cancer brings us a new view of the world, as we unfold the science behind the popular trivia game 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon'. Based on the idea that anyone on the planet can be connected in just a few steps of association, 'six-degrees of separation' was supposedly an urban myth. Through this documentary we discover it's at the heart of a major scientific breakthrough.
The explosion in the new science of networks started with an Australian PhD student Duncan Watts while studying, of all things, crickets, and the mechanism that allows them to chirp in unison. He investigated networks as varied as the actors of Hollywood, the neural pathways of the brain and the US power grid and discovered that they are all 'small worlds' where every actor, neuron, cricket and transformer is only a few 'handshakes' away.
Meanwhile a Hungarian physicist, Albert-Laszlo Barabasi coincidentally mapped the World Wide Web and found an underlying law that shapes small-world structures. Whether natural or man-made, vast diverse networks share a common blueprint, a structure that describes their strengths and weaknesses. In the near future network science will fundamentally change how we control epidemics; power failures; fight wars; save endangered species; prevent crime and disease.."
Resources for Complex Systems Science
Scientific divulgation on the Media
CSS Digital Library
The CSS Digital Library provides a collection of documents, including videos, slides, articles and reports concerning events organized in the context of the Complex Systems Society, or by CSS members. Some of the recent collections available are:
- Workshop Aesthetics at the Heart of Science, FET'09, Prague, April 23, 2009
- ECCS'10 Plenary Talks, Lisbon, September 13-17, 2010
- "Young Researchers Session", ECCS'10, Lisbon, September 15, 2010
- 4th French Complex Systems Summer School 2010
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Reports from ECCS11 Bursary Winners
ASSYST provided 32 bursaries to people to attend ECCS’11. The bursaries provided limited contributions towards the conference fee and/or travel expenses for female scientists, young researchers, and others who would otherwise be unable to attend ...
Workshop on Mathematics for the Dynamics of Multilevel Systems
The meeting Mathematics for the Dynamics of Multilevel Systems was held at the European Centre for Living Technology, Venice, 26th - 28th February 2012 ...
CSS Agenda - Events and Jobs
ECCS'13 - European Conference on Complex Systems
16 Sep 2013 - 20 Sep 2013