SFI President David Krakauer accepts AFO award on behalf of SFI. (image: still from video by Pedro Márquez-Zacarías/SFI)

The Santa Fe Institute has received the Award for Contribution to the Communication of Science from the Academia Film Olomouc (AFO) in the Czech Republic. Presented on April 29, 2024, during the AFO’s 59th International Festival of Popular Science Films, the award recognizes SFI’s “systematic approach, hard and continuous work, and long-term contributions to thinking about interdisciplinarity and making it work,” says Zdeněk Rychtera, an AFO dramaturg and programmer.  

The award coincides with the debut of “Ceci n’est pas SFI,” a documentary produced by Karol Jalochowski about the complex systems research happening at SFI.

“Ours is a science that tries to understand living planets at all scales. And it puts principles and problems first and disciplines second — the inverse of the typical research hierarchy,” said SFI President David Krakauer in a pre-recorded acceptance speech shared during the festival. "And so, it means a great deal to us here in this community that you've given us this award in our efforts to communicate our rather complex science.”

That fact that Jalochowski finished his film about SFI and submitted it to the festival “is a terrific coincidence,” says Rychtera. “We actually wanted to award SFI before we even knew that Karol was making the film.” 

Krakauer adds, "Finding ways to communicate this new science is very important in a globally connected world with a concern for the sustainability of society and the planet, and I want to thank Karol as well for helping us.”