Grants and residencies

Research and art

Assistant professor Žliobaitė Indrė and working group

231000 €

Comparing evolutionary processes in nature and society

Tieteellinen tutkimus ja taiteellinen työ / niihin pohjautuva työ | Kolmivuotinen

The world is changing at unprecedented rates. Financial crises, epidemics, climate disasters and military conflicts rise suddenly and change common ways of living. We can no longer hope to learn how the world is, by the time we learn, the world has changed. We need to focus on process-level understanding of how the world is changing. To what extent can we anticipate the future? What drives new financial, health, climate crises? How can we cope? How should we cope? The notion of evolution extends far beyond biological species. Languages change, music or fashion tastes continuously evolve, civilizations emerge, prosper and go extinct, economies rise and decline, financial or societal crises come and go. A big question of scientific and public curiosity is: to what extent evolutionary and adaptation processes are alike across different domains? Do the same mechanisms operate across different time scales from financial crises spanning hours to mass extinctions spanning thousands of years? Do species, economies, languages, cultures age in the same way, and could their decline ever be predictable? These questions have societal implications for the long run. What policies should and can be adopted for the long run? How to prevent and manage crises? How to balance resources? This project will aim at an interdisciplinary dialogue to integrate what we already know from individual disciplines and lay theoretical and empirical foundations for ways forward. The proposal is to operationalize these questions with an interdisciplinary working group and investigate them in data-driven ways via case studies from selected domains (economics, history, languages, music, microbial ecology, evolutionary palaeontology and computer science). The project will hire two postdoctoral researchers who will link the participating groups. A synthesis workshop with international participants back to back with an art-science collaboration event will take place mid-way of the project.