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A Sourcebook for the Worldwide Discovery of a Creative Organic Universe
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II. Planetary Prodigy: A Global Sapiensphere Learns by Her/His Self

1. International Conferences

Emergence in Chemical Systems 3.0. www.math.uaa.alaska.edu/chemicalemergence3. An International Conference to be held June 2013 at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Proposed conference sessions are: Complex chemical systems, Evolving networks of chemical reactions, Transition from nonliving to living matter, Systems Chemistry, Living Technologies, Bioengineering as mimicking biological systems, and Emergence, innovation, and creation in biology and technology. Among Invited Speakers are Mark Bedau, Wolfgang Banzhaf, Lee Cronin, Robert Hazen, David Krakauer, and Irena Ann Chen.

Euro Evo Devo Vienna 2014. http://evodevo.eu/conferences/2014. This international meeting in July of the European Society for Evolutionary Developmental Biology that could be seen a major, mature statement of this vital reunion on the way to a 21st century synthesis is reviewed more in Systems Evolution.

European Conference on Complex Systems. http://www.eccs09.info. Held at the University of Warwick, September 21 – 25, 2009, via this site (click on Programme) can be accessed Abstracts across a wide topical array from The Complex Universe (Luciano Pietronero and Francesco Sylos Labini) to Evolution, Cities and Planning (Michael Batty) and onto in the various vistas of nonlinear science. Francois Kepes is the Conference Chair.

European Conference on Complex Systems 2015. www.ccs2015.org. This actually quite global yearly convocation is being held outside of Europe for the first time at Arizona State University in Tempe from September 28 to October 2. The change in venue close to the Santa Fe Institute has drawn a grand cadre of plenary speakers such as Brian Arthur, Yaneer Bar-Yam, Michael Batty, Guide Caldarelli, Simon DeDeo, Charlotte Hemelrijk, and Stefan Thurner.

Evolution: Genetic Novelty – Genomic Variations by RNA Networks and Viruses. www.rna-networks.at. A July 2018 conference in Salzburg, Austria organized by Guenther Witzany and Luis Villarreal (search each) to reconceive how life began, evolved, and developed by better appreciations of its genetic, biomolecular and viral agencies. From this home page, full slide presentations of authorities such as James Shapiro, Karin Moelling, Eugene Koonin, and Sabine Muller can be viewed. One might note this group is more a nucleotide node school, while a lively regulatory system complement also flourishes, as in the Origin of Life section. In his presentation, Gustavo Caetano Anolles (abstract below) does include a network/modular aspect in his accretion model.

This symposium assembles approximately 60 experts from different fields to discuss a new paradigmatic understanding of genetic novelty, code-generating, genome-formatting factors and the current knowledge of regulatory control in all steps und sub-steps of transcription, translation, repair, immunity, epigenetic marking and heredity.

The evolution of structure in biology is driven by accretion and change. Accretion brings together disparate parts to form bigger wholes. Change provides opportunities for growth and innovation. Networks can describe how parts associate in wholes. Here I review patterns and processes that are responsible for a ‘double tale’ of evolutionary accretion in the structure of biological networks. Parts are at first weakly linked and associate variously. As they diversify, they compete with each other and are selected for performance. The emerging interactions constrain their structure and associations. This causes parts to self-organize into modules with tight linkage. In a second phase, variants of the modules evolve and become new parts for a new generative cycle of higher-level organization. Evolutionary genomics and network biology support the ‘double tale’ of structural module creation and validate an evolutionary principle of maximum abundance that drives the gain and loss of modules. Gustavo Caetano-Annolles (search)

Evolutionary outcomes are difficult, if not impossible, to predict, largely because the effect of any possible mutation is unknown. In other words, understanding evolution requires detailed knowledge of the relationship between sequence and activity, or the fitness landscape. Inspired by theRNA World of early life, in which RNA carried information and also performed catalytic functions, we study the emergence and evolution of functional RNAs. I will describe our experimental efforts to map complete fitness landscapes for ribozymes and the implications for optimizing ribozyme activity and replaying the ‘tape of life’. (Irene Chen)

Evolutionary Analysis Beyond the Gene. www.royalsociety.org/events/2014/evolutionary-analysis. A conference to be held November 17 – 18, 2014 at the Kavli Royal Society International Centre, Buckinghamshire. It is organized by Professors Christopher Howe and Jamie Tehrani, who will present along with Quentin Atkinson, Mark Pagel, Heather Windram, and others over the two days.

This strongly interdisciplinary meeting will review how the principles of phylogenetic analysis can be applied to datasets other than DNA or protein, including linguistics, archaeology, behaviour, anthropology and literature. It will identify the technical difficulties in this approach, and, with input from phylogenetics experts, suggest ways of dealing with the difficulties.

First International Workshop on Morphogenetic Engineering. http://www.iscpif.fr/MEW2009. Organized by Rene Doursat, Director of the Institut des Systemes Complexes, CNRS & Ecole Polytechnique, as a one day affair to be held in Paris on June 19, 2009. Its program abstract exemplifies the imminent revolution with regard to what kind of creative universe we may find ourselves, to which phenomenal people are invited to continue and complete.

Engineering products are generally made of a number of unique, heterogeneous components, assembled in a precise and complicated way, and work deterministically following the specifications given by the designers. By contrast, self-organization in natural systems (physical, biological, ecological) often depends on the repetition of identical components and the stochasticity in their dynamics. These systems produce nontrivial, yet relatively regular patterns or behaviors that can be described with a small number of macroscopic variables.

One salient exception is the morphogenesis of biological organisms. Morphogenetic processes demonstrate the possibility of combining self-organization and elaborate structures. Organisms are made of segments and parts arranged in specific ways that resemble the products of human inventiveness. Moreover, they self-assemble in a decentralized fashion, under the precise control of genetic and epigenetic information stored in the zygote. In other words, they are the examples of programmable self-organization, a concept that has not been sufficiently explored in complex systems science and engineering so far.

First International Workshop on the Shapes of Brain Dynamics. http://iscpif.fr/SBD2010. Sponsored by the Complex Systems Institute, Paris, Rene Doursat, Director, to be held on June 18, 2010. The pioneer systems neuroscientist Walter Freeman is the keynote speaker. We especially note because its Abstract next gives a good sense of how our neural patterns and processes are being found to reproduce those that occur everywhere else throughout a nested, cerebral nature quite seemingly on a universal mission of quickening conception and self-discovery.

This workshop focuses on the observation, measure and modeling of the "shapes" of complex spatiotemporal phenomena in large populations of neurons. It aims to contribute to a view of the brain as a "pattern formation machine" generating dynamical states composed of myriads of bioelectrical signals, at multiple mesoscopic levels from 10^3 to 10^9 units (between cortical columns and areas). Dynamical structures of neural activity constitute a prototypical example of emergent collective behaviors observed in nature, such as bird flocking or insect colonies. Such systems exhibit multistability, phase transitions, a wide diversity of trajectories and, of particular interest here, "morphogenetic" abilities. In addition, the special features of "neuron flocking" reside in its precise spatiotemporal relationships on the ms time scale and its complex underlying network structure. We propose here to explore various geometric, topological, statistical and computational approaches that can describe the dynamics of collective neural shape formation, in physical space or phase space. (Abstract)

First Kepler Science Conference. www.kepler.nasa.gov. From this home page, click on Science and then Kepler Conference to reach. Held December 5-9, 2011 at NASA Ames Research Park, Moffett Field, CA, this premier gathering of the international exoplanet community discusses, and revels in, the first two years of the awesome findings of this satellite. From this page, click on Conference Sessions where each presentation from the five days can be seen in full video. As befits a noospheric endeavor, the 240 page Program, including hundreds of poster presentations, is also online here. From veteran Kepler mentor, William Borucki, assistant director Natalie Batalha, a Greg Laughlin overview, Jill Tarter on “Earth-analogs,” to Astrobiology by Carl Pilcher, every aspect of this nascent Earthwide realization of a fertile galaxy and cosmos filled with billions of brethren neighbors is engaged. By any measure and stretch, a cosmic Copernican discovery (see Sasselov) of a genesis universe that innately spawns ovular earths is dawning upon us.

Group as Individual in Social Dynamics. http://www.asu.edu/clas/csdc/events/conference.html.. An Arizona State University conference of April 30 – May 2, 2009 by its Center for Social Dynamics and Complexity, which is co-directed by Jennifer Hewell (search) and William Griffin. Its Abstract is cited in An Enhanced Individuality.

Heinz von Foerster 100 Self-Organization and Emergence Congress. www.univie.ac.at/hvf11/congress/EmerQuM.html. Heinz von Foerster (1911-2002) was an Austrian American physicist and philosopher and a pioneer of cybernetics and systems theory. An international conference in November 2011 in Vienna with a dual focus on Self-Organization and Emergence in Nature and Society, and Emergent Quantum Mechanics. The historic gathering is reviewed more in Quantum Complex Systems.

Information and Noise: Chemistry, Biology and Evolution Creating Complex Systems. www.beilstein-institut.de/files/abstractbook_beilstein_bozen_symposium_2018_download.pdf. This is an international June 2018 symposium held in Rudesheim, Germany sponsored by the Beilstein Institut, see quotes below. This URL reaches the conference book along with extensive abstracts. Leroy Cronin and Tim Clark were the main organizers. A diverse array of senior speakers included Antoine Danchin (Information/Matter Interplay Conceals Life’s Universal Laws), Susan Stepney, Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo (Information as a Principle of Organization for Biology), Ulrich Kutschera, Thomas Ouldridge, Irene Chen and David Wolpert.


When do chemical systems become biological ones? What needs to happen for molecules
behaving stochastically to join in networks and cooperate to produce non-random or directed chemical pathways? Biological systems consist of networks of interacting molecules over a large number of time and length scales, and with error tolerance: The larger and more organized the molecules, the more they behave cooperatively. Indeed, before the first genetically regulated ones, such systems had to self-encode into a replicating system. What mechanism led to self-encoding chemistry and was this the seed for biological evolution? (Synopsis)

Biology is often perceived as a collection of weird anecdotes. Attempts to find specific laws that would place life within the realm of physics often fail because investigators see the forest for the trees. Starting from the conjecture that cells are computers making computers we will explore the physico-chemical nature of the "vital force" that has long been the cause of animism or vitalism. This will ask us to strip biological descriptions from their details to clarify the underlying laws that make cells alive. Highlighting the information of the machine (as opposed to information of the genetic program), we will focus on the role of compartmentalisation and polymerization associated to the ubiquitous presence of water in shaping what life is. (Antoine Danchin)

Living phenomena involve both (i) individual systems carrying out very robust self-(re-)producing dynamics in far from equilibrium conditions (cellular-metabolic ontogenies) and, at a completely different time scale, (ii) populations of those systems undergoing an open-ended process of diversification (eco-evolutionary phylogenies). Without a deep theoretical re-assessment and re-elaboration of the notion of information, specifically tailored for biology, there will be no chance for us to understand how this high ‘squared complexity’ (physiological and evolutionary) came about during biogenesis and made life, globally speaking, a long-term-sustainable phenomenon on the surface of our planet. (Kepa Ruiz-Mirazo)

The non-profit Beilstein-Institut is one of the most respected organizations in the communication and dissemination of high-quality information in chemistry. Since 1951, when the foundation was established by the Max Planck Society, we have been fulfilling our mission to support the scientific community by providing high-quality information that is essential for research. Our role has evolved over the years: from the production of the Beilstein Handbook and Database, to being one of the first open access journal publishers in chemistry, to host of interdisciplinary symposia and supporter of open data initiatives. We believe that free access to scientific research results, giving everyone in the world an equal chance to read and reuse experimental findings and data, is the best way to advance science.

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