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What Got You There with Sean DeLaney


Dec 20, 2020

Geoffrey West is a physicist turned complexity theorist. He is currently a Distinguished Professor at the Santa Fe Institute, where he served as President from 2005 to 2009.

West has been listed as one of Time magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world.

He is the author of Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies.

In his book Scale (which Sean loves), Geoffrey became fascinated by aging and mortality, and applied the rigor of a physicist to the biological question of why we live as long as we do and no longer.

The result was astonishing, and changed science: West found that despite the massive diversity in mammals, they are all, to a large degree, scaled versions of each other.

If you know the size of a mammal, you can use scaling laws to learn everything from how much food it eats per day, what its heart-rate is, how long it will take to mature, its lifespan, and so on. 

This conversation is certainly going to expand your thinking!

Episode Notes

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