The Human in the Equation

This is Part V of a series in which Gemma explores what happens When Complexity Science Meets Convergence Research. Read Part IV here.

This Cafe features our social scientists on the team: our economist Dr. Don Fullerton; our two anthropologists, Dr. Cindy Isenhour, and her graduate student, Brie Berry.

While the themes for the first three Cafes were pre-determined in consultation with our PI Dr. Melissa Bilec, this theme on “the human in the equation” emerged from conversations in the first three Cafes. In particular, we come to see that the point of departure for social science from engineering is whether human behaviors are included in the considerations. Remembering “each human is a complex adaptive system” from the first Cafe, maybe it is time we shed light on research when humans are included. How does human add to the equation? How are the complexities dealt with?

There was excitement in the air throughout the preparation stage. Nanda and I each prepared two questions. We shared one from each with our panelists before the Cafe, and kept the other two for surprise effect. Afterwards Melissa sent a special announcement in Basecamp, with this compliment “the panelists, Brie, Don, and Cindy, brought their “A” game!”

I am happy both for the dialogues we were engaged in, and for the team building opportunity. We are forming a “social science squad”!

Interested to hear more about our social science squad? Continue reading on Medium.

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