New Mexico History Museum

CreativeMornings Gets a Shock

October 01, 2015


Sam Scarpino, a Santa Fe Institute resident, talks on the theme of “shock” at a free CreativeMornings event on Wednesday, October 14, 9–10 am. Besides Scarpino’s brief TED-like talk, you can do a little creative networking and enjoy pastries and coffee from the Santa Fe Baking Co. Support provided by the St. Vincent Hospital Foundation.

Using technology and statistical tools, Scarpino maps the patterns of global disease epidemics. His results have inspired national-level public health agencies to dramatically change their disease-tracking practices. In this talk, Scarpino will describe the “shock” of discovering, through mathematical research, how poverty has been and remains the most important explanatory factor for the spread of disease. 

As diseases and their treatments continuously evolve, Scarpino asks what modern plagues—influenza, pertussis, arboviruses, chikungunya, dengue, West Nile, tuberculosis, and HIV—share in common with, say, an 1854 cholera outbreak. He will present three ways in which studying the impact of poverty on disease, through a complex systems lens, has improved our scientific understanding of epidemics. Specifically, he will explore the influence of poverty on the scale of influenza and Ebola virus outbreaks. 

Scarpino earned a B.Sc. in biology from Indiana University Bloomington and a Ph.D. in integrative biology from The University of Texas at Austin. His dissertation research was supported by a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and a Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant. He attended the Santa Fe Institute’s Complex Systems Summer School in 2010.

CreativeMornings is a network of more than 106 host cities around the world founded on a desire to jump-start the workday for creative professionals. The events feature casual talks for graphic designers, authors, artists and other interested people, focused on various themes. The History Museum alternates monthly events in partnership with Albuquerque’s Creative Startups. Each talk throughout the world is videotaped and uploaded to CreativeMornings’ global website,

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