This is the first in a series of articles recounting the history of the Santa Fe Institute drawn from primary and, in a few cases, secondary sources.
By John German
In George Cowan's telling, the notion for a Santa Fe Institute began to form in the summer of 1956. He had been invited to the Aspen Institute, where prominent intellectuals from the arts, science, and culture gathered for free-form philosophical exchanges. He had just participated as the lone scientist in a discussion of literature. (...)