This weekend I’m traveling with several international colleagues to the University of Agder’s Metochi Centre in Lesbos, Greece, where we’ll be working on computer modeling and simulation projects for a couple of weeks.

During week 27 members of the “Religion, Ideology, and Prosociality” research project will be working on a computer model of “fuzzy fidelity.” This will be an attempt to simulate the emergence of shifts toward secularization in European countries in a way that builds on the previous work of David Voas (see his influential article on this topic here). Several articles, including a microsimulation and new statistical analyses, have already been submitted or are in process. Our plan is to use this prior work to inform the construction of a new computational architecture that can “grow” fuzzy fidelity (and secularization) in a validated artificial society.

During week 28 members of the “Emotional Contagion” research project will be working on two computer models related to the spread of misinformation, stigma, and fear in Norway in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the models is based on earlier work by Pati Antosz, who developed a cognitive architecture for policy-relevant simulations in collaboration with colleagues across Europe as part of an EU project called SMARTEES. The other model is based on earlier work by a team in the “Modeling Religion in Norway” project, which resulted in a model that could simulate the effects of threats (such as contagion) on the intergroup interactions of human populations (key article available here).