What We Are Reading Today: Deep Life: The Hunt for the Hidden Biology of Earth, Mars, and Beyond

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Updated 27 July 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Deep Life: The Hunt for the Hidden Biology of Earth, Mars, and Beyond

Edited by Tullis C. Onstott

Deep Life takes readers to uncharted regions deep beneath Earth’s crust in search of life in extreme environments, and reveals how astonishing new discoveries by geomicrobiologists are aiding the quest to find life in the solar system. 

Tullis Onstott provides an insider’s look at the pioneering fieldwork that is shining new light on Earth’s hidden biology, a subterranean biosphere thriving with rare and exotic life forms. 

Join Onstott and his team on epic descents into South African gold mines, and travel deep beneath the frozen wastelands of the Arctic tundra to discover life as it could exist on Mars. 

An unforgettable scientific adventure, Deep Life takes you to the biotic fringe, where today’s scientists hope
to discover the very origins of life itself.


What We Are Reading Today: Generative Social Science

Updated 05 August 2020

What We Are Reading Today: Generative Social Science

Author: Joshua M. Epstein

Agent-based computational modeling is changing the face of social science. In Generative Social Science, Joshua Epstein argues that this powerful, novel technique permits the social sciences to meet a fundamentally new standard of explanation, in which one “grows” the phenomenon of interest in an artificial society of interacting agents: heterogeneous, boundedly rational actors, represented as mathematical or software objects.
After elaborating this notion of generative explanation in a pair of overarching foundational chapters, Epstein illustrates it with examples chosen from such far-flung fields as archaeology, civil conflict, the evolution of norms, epidemiology, retirement economics, spatial games, and organizational adaptation.
In elegant chapter preludes, he explains how these widely diverse modeling studies support his sweeping case for generative explanation.
This book represents a powerful consolidation of Epstein’s interdisciplinary research activities in the decade since the publication of his and Robert Axtell’s landmark volume, Growing Artificial Societies.