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Abstract: This anniversary paper is an occasion to recall some of the events thatshaped institutional econophysics. But in these thoughts about the evolution ofeconophysics in the last 15 years we also express some concerns. Our main worryconcerns the relinquishment of the simplicity requirement. Ever since thegroundbreaking experiments of Galileo some three centuries ago, the greatsuccesses of physicists were largely due to the fact that they were able todecompose complex phenomena into simpler ones. Remember that the firstobservation of the effects of an electrical current was made by AlessandroVolta 1745-1827 on the leg of a frog! Clearly, to make sense this observationhad to be broken down into several separate effects. Nowadays, with computersbeing able to handle huge amounts of data and to simulate any stochasticprocess no matter how complicated, there is no longer any real need for such asearch for simplicity. Why should one spend time and effort trying to break upcomplicated phenomena when it is possible to handle them globally? On this newroad there are several stumbling blocks, however. Do such global mathematicaldescriptions lead to a real understanding? Do they produce building blockswhich can be used elsewhere and thus make our knowledge and comprehension togrow in a cumulative way? Should econophysics also adopt the -globalized-perspective that has been endorsed, developed and spread by the numerous-Complexity Departments- which sprang up during the last decade?

Author: Bertrand M. Roehner


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