Every essay in this book is original, often highly original, and they will be of interest to practising scientists as much as they will be to philosophers of science — not least because many of the essays are by leading scientists who are currently creating the emerging new complex systems paradigm. This is no accident. The impact of complex systems on science is a recent, ongoing and profound revolution. But with a few honourable exceptions, it has largely been ignored by scientists and philosophers alike as an object of reflective study.
The scale and sweep of the change is truly vast — entire disciplines or subdisciplines have come into being, departments and institutes of hundreds of scientists now exist that did not exist two decades ago, and Google entries under complex systems headings run into the tens of millions of pages — far too many for any individual to consult, even in a lifetime, thus creating an emergent reliance on systemic institutional structure and processes to generate scientific coherence, yet another facet of complex systems in science.