--Niall Ferguson, senior fellow, the Hoover Institution "This spectacular book on how logarithmic scaling governs everything is packed with news--from the self-similar dynamics of cells and ecosystems to exactly why companies always die and cities don't. I dog-eared and marked up damn near every page."
--Stewart Brand, creator of the Whole Earth Catalog
"Geoffrey West's Scale is filled with brilliant insights. He illuminates the laws of nature underlying everything from tiny organisms and humans to cities and companies, and provides a quantitative framework for decoding the deep complexity of our interconnected world. If you want to know why companies fail, how cities persist and what is needed to sustain our civilization in this era of rapid innovation, read this amazing book."
--Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce
"When Geoffrey West, a brilliant theoretical physicist, turned his lens to the study of life spans, biological systems or cities he stumbled onto a game-changing universal insight about growth and sustainability. Scale is dazzling and provocative and West proves himself to be a compelling and entertaining writer--this is a book we will be talking about for a long time."
--Abraham Verghese, author of Cutting for Stone
"If there were a Nobel Prize for transdisciplinary science Geoffrey West would have won it for the work covered in Scale. This is a book of great originality and deep importance, containing startling insights about topics as seemingly unrelated as aging and death, sleep, metabolism, cities, energy use, creativity, corporations, and even the sustainability of our existence. If you are curious about how the world really works, you must read this book."
--Bill Miller, Chairman, Emeritus, Sante Fe Institute
"Geoffrey West's Scale is a revelation. Based on his path breaking theory and research on super-linear scaling, it provides powerful new insights into the basic scientific laws that power our modern society and economy, its startup companies, large corporations and cities. The book is a must read for CEOs, technologists, mayors, urban leaders and anyone who wants to understand the simple laws that shape the complex, self-organizing world in which we live."
--Richard Florida, author of The Rise of the Creative Class "This is an important and original book, of immense scope. Geoffrey West is a polymath, whose insights range over physics, biology and the social sciences. He shows that the sizes, shapes and lifetimes of living things - despite their amazing diversity -- display surprising correlations and patterns, and that these follow from basic physical principles. He then discovers, more surprisingly, the emergence of similar 'scaling laws' in human societies - in our cities, companies and social networks. These findings are presented in clear non-technical prose, enlivened by anecdotes which convey how these concepts arose, and thoughtful assessment of why they're important for those planning our future. This fascinating book deserves very wide readership."
--Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal and author of Just Six Numbers "Each human should learn to read and write, to count, and for those who know how to count, scalability. Scaling is the most important yet most hidden and rarely discussed attribute--without understanding it one cannot possibly understand the world. This book will expand your thinking from three dimensions to four. Get two copies, just in case you lose one."
--Nassim Nicholas Taleb, author of the Incerto "An absolutely riveting read. Like the best detective story, West lays out the amazing challenge of understanding why animals, cities and companies all scale so uniformly and then skillfully lets us into the secrets that his detective work has uncovered. This book captures the spirit of science in the 21st century, revealing the deep connections not just across physics and biology but society and life. The book is a perfect balance between the big scientific story and West's own personal narrative. We accompany the author on his quest to face up to his own mortality while at the same time being exposed to the theoretical discoveries that West has pioneered in his groundbreaking work."
--Marcus du Sautoy, Simonyi Professor for the Public Understanding of Science at Oxford University and author of The Great Unknown "It's rare in the history of science that someone has a big, bold, beautiful, stunningly simple new idea that also turns out to be right. Geoffrey West had one. And Scale is its story."
--Steven Strogatz, Professor of Mathematics at Cornell University and author of The Joy of X
Geoffrey West's research centres on a quest to find unifying principles and patterns connecting everything, from cells and ecosystems to cities, social networks and businesses.
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, visionary physicist Geoffrey West 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 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 about 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.