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Systems Science and Population Health$
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Abdulrahman M. El-Sayed and Sandro Galea

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190492397

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2017

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190492397.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 25 September 2020



The Evolution Toward 21st-Century Science

(p.37) 4 Complexity
Systems Science and Population Health

Anton Palma

David W. Lounsbury

Oxford University Press

Complexity has always been ubiquitous and inextricable from nature—yet ignoring complexity via reductionism remains the dominant method for scientific inquiry. However, although it is true that the simplicity of reductionism is attractive, its strict simplifying assumptions are not correctly matched to many problems in nature whose complexity cannot be ignored. It is not surprising then that so many scientific disciplines have converged upon complexity theory. This chapter gives an in-depth discussion of how complexity, embraced across a range of disciplines, has contributed to the growth of these disciplines and has been responsible for many insights stemming from these disciplines. It shows a way forward, through the evolution of complexity, for public health thinking.

Keywords:   economics, psychology, ecology, reductionism, future, science

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