GILBERTO ESPARZA, Plantas autofotosinthéticas, 2013–2014 (detail). Courtesy the artist. Photo by Dario Lasagni.

The Human in the Node

Despite our best efforts, complex sociotechnical phenomena aren’t amenable to technocratic, top-down solutions. There are always the humans in the nodes of the network: people doing passionate, weird, creative, and impulsive things that defy prediction and control—but which also make possible our ongoing efforts to improve the world. In the Spring 2023 Issues, contributors look at human experience and agency to explore how to navigate polluted ecosystems, how tacit knowledge is key to a safe and productive bioeconomy, how disciplines are nurtured and defined by the competing interests of academic leaders, and much more.

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