In the past decade, non-linear, far-from-equilibrium dynamical systems theory has sparked great interest throughout the academic community in Cuba. After fellows at Havana’s Instituto de Filosofia became interested in the philosophical implications of complexity theory, scholars from disparate disciplines throughout the island -- physicists and physicians, linguists and ecologists -- began exploring new avenues of investigation suggested by this new theoretical approach pioneered by Nobel Laureate Ilya Prigogine during the second half of the twentieth century.
To date eight cathedrae of complexity studies have been officially recognized by Cuba’s Academy of Sciences. Housed at research and even cultural centers throughout the island, from the city of Holguin on Cuba’s easternmost province to Havana in the west, their combined effort is truly interdisciplinary: Havana’s cathedra (www.complejidadhabana.com) is dedicated to the philosophical implications of complexity theory, another to the relationship between complexity and medicine (www.complejidad-camaguey.org), yet a third studies the physics of complexity theory (www.complexperiments.net). Affiliated groups such as one on Complexity and Language (firstname.lastname@example.org) are also self-organizing and collaborating with the affiliated cathedrae.
Havana’s Cathedra of Complexity Studies (www.complejidadhabana.com), the first on the island, offers annual post-graduate courses in Complexity Theory (enrollment grew from 75 per year in 2001 to 215 in 2004), a Diplomate (intermediate between a bachelor’s and a master’s degree), mini-courses, workshops, in addition to the well-attended International Biennial Seminar, which drew capacity audiences in 2004 and 2006, with increasing participation by Cuban nationals. Complejidad 2006 included workshops on Complexity in Biological Systems, Complexity, Art & Aesthetics, and Complexity in Physics. Parallel symposia focusing on Complex Educational Systems, Complex Environmental Systems, and Complexity and Organizations rounded out a full program.
Friends of Havana’s January Complexity Seminars, a 501c3 non-profit organization formed in 2007, (www.friendsofcomplexitytheoryincuba.org), asks for your help in providing Cuban scholars with books and scholarly articles on complexity theory, whether in print or digital format. Havana’s Cathedra has about 250 books on Complexity Theory (donated for the most part by MIT Press, Princeton University Press, Springer Verlag, Santa Fe Institute Press, and Editorial Tusquets in Barcelona), but scholars on the rest of the island are in need of resources in order to carry out their academic work. CubaLibri, our publishing arm, recently published Archipielago Cubano: Biogeografia historica y complejidad by Jorge Fontenla and Antonio Lopez.
Individuals and organizations are encouraged to consider donating laptops, power point projectors and lamps, surge protectors, and flash drives. Printer ink cartridges and copier toners are most welcome. Please restrict your book and article donations to those on theoretical and applied topics directly related to far-from equilibrium, non-linear, dynamical systems theory, chaos and catastrophe theory, and self-organization and complexity theory. Recently published books and articles on related mathematical and physics topics such as non-linear time series analysis, network theory, etc. are also welcome. Complimentary subscriptions to professional journals in digital form, especially those listed on www.comdig.org would be of enormous benefit. Individual articles and book chapters can be directly emailed to scholars (in compressed form, please).
All books, laptops, magazines, articles, and other such informational materials are exempt from the U.S. Trade Embargo and can be legally shipped to Cuba under current U.S. regulations. United States persons are also allowed to defray publishing costs of fully completed manuscripts. Monetary contributions to Friends of Havana’s January Complexity Seminars will be used exclusively to purchase books, magazine subscriptions, and cover shipping costs for said items. Monetary contributions will also go towards the publication of completed booklength manuscripts by Cuban authors on topics related to Complexity Theory. Itemized receipts will be provided for in-kind contributions, including shipping costs. All contributions are tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.
For detailed information on where to send contributions please go to How You Can Help button. For your convenience, Friends of Havana’s January Complexity Seminars now accepts PayPal.
FriFriends of Havana's January Complexity Seminars supports and encourages the ongoing and future study of Complexity Theory in Cuba by encouraging and supporting graduate and professional-level research and written publications in Complexity Theory. The organization purchases and collects donations of books and other informational materials on Complexity Theory for delivery to the six Cathedrae of Complexity Studies located throughout the island. The organization also publishes research results presented at biennial January seminars sponsored by Havana's Instituto de Filosofia's Chair of Complexity Studies, an academic program dedicated to the study of the philosophical, methodological, and epistemological implications of Complexity Theory.