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The New Sciences of Networks & Complexity: A Short Introduction

This paper is the result of two recent e-workshops organized by The World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS), one on the Science of Networks, the other on Complexity. These Sci­ences have emerged in the last few decades and figure among a large group of ‘new’ sciences or knowledge acquisitors. They are connected with one another and are very well exposed in the diagram available under the name ‘Map of Complexity Science’ on Wikipedia. Networks exist in extremely diverse contexts: in the biological world, in social constructions, in urbanism, climate change and many more. The novelty appears in the correlations and the laws (e.g. power laws), which were discovered recently, and indicates a totally different appraisal from what was generally expected to exist. The Science of Complexity is directly related to networks. Networks are an essential part of the complexity phenomenon. Their applications, which are highly diverse, are recommended by several scientists; decision makers and politicians have to make use of this knowledge for better evaluation of the impact of their decisions in increasingly complex societies and as a function of time. The paper mentions a recent report on Complexity in Economics and the Economic Complexity Index.

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