Introduction to this Special Issue Continuously evolving to bridge significant gaps in our understanding of complexity


David LePoire
Andrey Korotayev
Leonid Grinin


Although complexity plays a significant role in big history, substantial gaps persist in our comprehension. While the papers in this issue do not provide definitive answers to these gaps, they contribute to the ongoing discussion on how to address these issues and propose potential pathways for resolution. These gaps encompass measurement, focus, organization, relevance, consistency, and interpretation. While there may not be unanimous agreement on the specific direction to take, the academic discussions evident in these papers aim to elucidate the issues and foster understanding within the expansive and diverse scientific community.


Author Biographies

David LePoire, Argonne National Laboratory

David LePoire researches, develops and applies science principles in environmental issues, Big History evolutionary trends, and particle scattering. He has a BS in physics from CalTech, a Ph.D. in computer science from DePaul University, and over thirty years experience at the Argonne National Laboratory in the development of scientific analyses, software, training, and modelling. His research includes Big History synergistic trends among energy, environment, organization, and information.

Andrey Korotayev, Eurasian Center for Big History & System Forecasting at Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences

Andrey V. Korotayev is Senior Research Professor at Eurasian Center for Big History & System Forecasting at Institute of Oriental Studies, Russian Academy of Sciences, as well as at International Laboratory of Demography and Human Capital, Russian Presidential Academy of National Economy and Public Administration. He is also Director of the Center for Stability and Risk Analysis at HSE University and Professor at Faculty for Global Processes, Moscow State University, Russia. Beginning as an historian of Arabia, he made focused studies, such as seen in ‘Two Social Ecological Crises and Genesis of Tribal Organization in the Yemeni North-East’ (1996). Andrey researches topics in quantitative cross-cultural anthropology and seeks to understand biological and social macroevolution, as in ‘A Compact Macromodel of World System Evolution’ (2005) and ‘Mathematical Modeling of Biological and Social Phases of Big History’ (2014). He is a founding member of the Eurasian Center for Megahistory & System Forecasting and founder of Evolution, an almanac dedicated to the study of Universal Evolution, and thus is closely linked with Big History. Most recently, he has produced, with David LePoire, a collective monograph, The 21st Century Singularity and Global Futures: A Big History Perspective (2020). He serves as a board member of the International Big History Association.

Leonid Grinin, Uchitel Publishing, Volgograd

Leonid E. Grinin is Director of Uchitel Publishing, Volgograd, Russia. Beginning as a teacher in rural schools, he founded his publishing firm to develop educational materials in the 1980s. He then completed a Ph.D. at Moscow State University and expanded Uchitel to serve a global market in Russian and English. A sociologist, philosopher of history, and economist, his work focuses on identifying regularities of macroevolution. Among his thirty monographs are From Confucius to Comte: The Formation of the Theory, Methodology and Philosophy of History (2012, in Russian); Macrohistory and Globalization (2012); and The Big History of the Universe’s Development: Cosmic Evolution (2013, in Russian). Leonid co-authored Great Divergence and Great Convergence: A Global Perspective (2015) and co-edits the international journals, Social Evolution and History and Journal of Globalization Studies. A founding member and Deputy Director of the Eurasian Center for Megahistory & System Forecasting, access to his portal, Social Studies.