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J Epidemiol Community Health. 2007 Nov;61(11):933-7.

A simple guide to chaos and complexity.

Author information

  • 1Department of Philosophy, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada. drickles@ucalgary.ca

Abstract

The concepts of complexity and chaos are being invoked with increasing frequency in the health sciences literature. However, the concepts underpinning these concepts are foreign to many health scientists and there is some looseness in how they have been translated from their origins in mathematics and physics, which is leading to confusion and error in their application. Nonetheless, used carefully, "complexity science" has the potential to invigorate many areas of health science and may lead to important practical outcomes; but if it is to do so, we need the discipline that comes from a proper and responsible usage of its concepts. Hopefully, this glossary will go some way towards achieving that objective.

PMID:
17933949
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2465602
Free PMC Article
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