Meeting Summary: A prominent feature of the COVID-19 pandemic has been the need to balance very difficult tradeoffs — notably, improved health versus worsened economics. A second temporal feature has been weighing the short-term costs of isolation against the long-term benefits of reducing the burden on essential infrastructure. When these two complications interact — as when the time scales of health benefits and environmental change are slow whereas the timescales of economic impact are fast — then individuals and social institutions struggle to reach coordinated solutions, an obvious consequence of which is civil unrest.
In this flash meeting we ask researchers from climate science, network dynamics, sustainability science, and global policy to address how we might best manage tradeoffs, and what might be learned from adjacent areas of research to inform a path out of or above the current crisis.
Jack DeGioia, Georgetown University
Raissa D’Souza, University of California, Davis and SFI
Peter Schlosser, Arizona State University
Dan Schrag, Harvard University and SFI
Introduction by David Krakauer, Santa Fe Institute
Jack DeGioia on tradeoffs in academic life during the COVID era
Raissa D'Souza on timescales and tradeoffs in complex systems
Peter Schlosser on timescales and tradeoffs in navigating a complex Earth system
Dan Schrag on the timescale of climate change
Closing remarks and Q&A