Our guest’s research centres on a quest to find unifying principles and patterns connecting everything, from cells and ecosystems to cities, social networks and businesses. Questions he poses include: Why do organisms and ecosystems scale with size in a remarkably universal and systematic fashion? Is there a maximum size of cities? Of animals and plants? What about companies? Can scale show us how to create a more sustainable future? By applying the rigour of physics to questions of biology, He found that despite the riotous diversity in the sizes of mammals, they are all, to a large degree, scaled versions of each other. This speaks to everything from how long we can expect to live to how many hours of sleep we each need. He then made the even bolder move of exploring his work’s applicability to cities and to the business world. These investigations have led to powerful insights into the elemental natural laws that bind us together in profound ways, and how all complex systems are dancing to the same simple tune, however diverse and unrelated they may seem.
It is a great pleasure to welcome back the author of “Scale: The Universal Laws of Life and Death in Organisms, Cities and Companies” Geoffrey West