Geoffrey West

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Geoffrey West
Geoffrey West by Augustas Didzgalvis.jpg
Geoffrey Brian West

(1940-12-15) 15 December 1940 (age 82)[1]
Taunton, Somerset, United Kingdom
Alma materUniversity of Cambridge
Stanford University
Known forMetabolic theory of ecology
SpouseJacqueline West
AwardsWeldon Memorial Prize (2005)
Scientific career
FieldsTheoretical physics
Theoretical biology
InstitutionsSanta Fe Institute
Los Alamos National Laboratory
University of New Mexico
ThesisI. Form Factors of the Three-Body Nuclei II. Coulomb Scattering and the Form Factor of the Pion (1966)
Geoffrey West.jpg

Geoffrey Brian West (born 15 December 1940)[1] is a British theoretical physicist and former president and distinguished professor of the Santa Fe Institute. He is one of the leading scientists working on a scientific model of cities. Among other things, his work states that with the doubling of a city's population, salaries per capita will generally increase by 15%.[2]


Born in Taunton, Somerset, a rural town in western England, West moved to London when he was 13.[3] He received a Bachelor of Arts degree in physics from the University of Cambridge and pursued graduate studies on the pion at Stanford University.[4]

West became a Stanford faculty member before he joined the particle theory group at New Mexico's Los Alamos National Laboratory. After Los Alamos, he became president of the Santa Fe Institute, where he worked and works on biological issues such as the allometric law[5] and other power laws in biology.[6][7]

West has since been honoured as one of Time magazine's Time 100.[8] He is a member of the World Knowledge Dialogue Scientific Board.[9]

See also[edit]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Necia Grant Cooper, Geoffrey B. West (eds.) Particle Physics: A Los Alamos Primer. CUP Archive, 29 April 1988.
  • Brown, James H., and Geoffrey B. West, eds. Scaling in biology. Oxford University Press, 2000.
  • West, Geoffrey (2017). Scale: the universal laws of growth, innovation, sustainability, and the pace of life in organisms, cities, economies, and companies. London, United Kingdom: Penguin Press. ISBN 978-178022559-3.
Articles (selection)[10][11][12]


  1. ^ a b West, Geoffrey B. (11 June 2014). "Curriculum Vitae" (PDF). Retrieved 17 August 2022.
  2. ^ Bettencourt, L. M. A.; Lobo, J.; Helbing, D.; Kuhnert, C.; West, G. B. (2007). "Growth, innovation, scaling, and the pace of life in cities". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 104 (17): 7301–7306. Bibcode:2007PNAS..104.7301B. doi:10.1073/pnas.0610172104. PMC 1852329. PMID 17438298.
  3. ^ "Geoffrey West". PhysicsCentral. American Physical Society. Retrieved 27 January 2019.
  4. ^ West, Geoffrey Brian (1966). I. Form Factors of the Three-Body Nuclei II. Coulomb Scattering and the Form Factor of the Pion (PhD thesis). Stanford University. ProQuest 302188497.
  5. ^ West, G. B.; Brown, J. H.; Enquist, B. J. (1997). "A General Model for the Origin of Allometric Scaling Laws in Biology". Science. 276 (5309): 122–126. doi:10.1126/science.276.5309.122. PMID 9082983. S2CID 3140271.
  6. ^ West, G. B.; Brown, J. H.; Enquist, B. J. (2001). "A general model for ontogenetic growth". Nature. 413 (6856): 628–631. Bibcode:2001Natur.413..628W. doi:10.1038/35098076. PMID 11675785. S2CID 4393103.
  7. ^ Gillooly, J. F.; Brown, J. H.; West, G. B.; Savage, V. M.; Charnov, E. L. (2001). "Effects of Size and Temperature on Metabolic Rate". Science. 293 (5538): 2248–2251. Bibcode:2001Sci...293.2248G. doi:10.1126/science.1061967. PMID 11567137. S2CID 234618.
  8. ^ Time Magazine's article about West
  9. ^ World Knowledge Dialogue
  10. ^ Geoffrey West's publications indexed by the Scopus bibliographic database. (subscription required)
  11. ^ Geoffrey West publications indexed by Microsoft Academic
  12. ^ Geoffrey West publications in Google Scholar
  13. ^ Scientific American often changes the title of a print article when it is published online. This article is titled "Big Data Needs a Big Theory to Go with It" online.

External links[edit]