CSH summer school disintegration societies



CSH & SFI invite you to Vienna’s International Summer School



Together with the Santa Fe Institute—once described as “A Justice League for renegade geeks” by the Rolling Stone Magazine—, the Hub is happy to invite PhD students from the physical, natural, and quantitative social sciences and mathematics to take part in a joint International Summer School 2022.

The courses—accompanied by a multitude of socializing opportunities—will take place from July 4–15 in Vienna.

The scientific program of the first “Complexity-GAINs International Summer School” is organized by CSH President Stefan Thurner, and CSH External Faculty Mirta Galesic and Henrik Olson (both SFI).

This year’s subject:


Human societies constantly change at many levels, from individuals to communities and nation states. Throughout history, and at present, societies become more innovative, more integrated, and more cooperative on some levels, while on others they become more inert, more polarized, and more belligerent. To understand and perhaps even predict these trends and their consequences, we need to capture the complex interplay of underlying cognitive, social, and institutional mechanisms – by integrating theoretical, modeling, and empirical investigations.

PhD students are invited to spend two weeks, among an international cohort of students and faculty, learning to integrate theory and methods from a range of disciplines to model socio-behavioral systems and understand their behavior.


Participants will explore complex interactions of cognitive, social, and technological mechanisms leading to (dis)integration of different societies in historical and contemporary times. They will hear in-person lectures from leading researchers on the dynamics of beliefs and emotions, the role of social network structures, the influence of algorithms and institutions, and their joint influence on collective outcomes and societal robustness.


Hands-on workshops and group research projects using real-world data sets will provide experience modeling complex systems using a range of approaches. In addition to acquiring skills and tools to use in their own research, students will grow their global scientific network and experience the research culture of the EU.


Click here for further information.

“This data gap in the official reporting of cases and deaths is a significant challenge, particularly as policymakers rely on official data. Data biases and skewed data can lead to suboptimal policymaking and inefficient allocation of resources,” emphasizes Desvars-Larrive.

Moreover, the researchers noted a “geographic gap.” While certain countries, mainly in the Global North, routinely share data on SARS-CoV-2 cases in animals, this is less common in the Global South, where resource availability may be a major barrier to effective data collection and dissemination.


If you would like to participate in this exceptional program (no tuition fee!), follow the Apply now! Button on the SFI webpage.


  • Biographical information (filled out directly in the application portal)
  • Current academic cv, including list of publications, if any
  • Two letters of recommendation, including at least one from your thesis advisor or a member of your thesis committee.
  • Research statement, describing your thesis research and how a complex systems approach could benefit your current project or future research directions you might undertake. (max. 1 page)
  • Personal statement, describing your motivation for participation in the Complexity-GAINs institute. The statement should specifically address the international aspect of the program and how this intersects with your broader professional/career goals. (max. 1 page)
  • We are looking forward to meet 36 of you in Vienna.



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