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A New Science of Qualities
A Talk With Brian Brian Goodwin


Brian Goodwin Photo

Introduction by
John Brockman

Brian Goodwin looks on biology as an exact science, and sees the "new biology" less as a historical science than as an enterprise similar to physics in its emphasis on principles of order. He represents the structuralist approach, which resonates with D'Arcy Thompson's idea that evolutionary variation is constrained by structural laws; not all forms are possible. These ideas are now connected with new principles of dynamic emergence from complex systems, as developed within the sciences of complexity. Goodwin is strongly opposed to the reductionist view of the ultra-Darwinians, and much more comfortable with the complexity ideas of Stuart Kauffman and with Francisco Varela's holistic approach to biology. In this interview he explores the need to develop ways of perceiving and understanding wholes that are required within a science of qualities.


Brian Goodwin talks with John Brockman...