Geoffrey West Quotes

Home / Physicist / Geoffrey West Quotes
Geoffrey West
Born Goeffrey Brian West
1940 (age 76–77)[citation needed]
Taunton, Somerset, United Kingdom
Residence United States
Fields Theoretical physics
Theoretical biology
Institutions Santa Fe Institute
Los Alamos National Laboratory
University of New Mexico
Alma mater University of Cambridge
Stanford University
Thesis I. Form Factors of the Three-Body Nuclei II. Coulomb Scattering and the Form Factor of the Pion (1966)
Known for Metabolic theory of ecology
Notable awards Mercer Award[citation needed]
Spouse Jacqueline West
Website
www.santafe.edu/about/people/profile/Geoffrey%20West

I've always wanted to find the rules that govern everything. It's amazing that such rules exist. It's even more amazing that we can find them.
Geoffrey West
When you look at a city, you know, it looks so unique. You feel this kind of uniqueness, you know, and especially if you go from a big city to a small city or if you go from one country to another. Cities look very different, often. They even feel very different. You know, and they are, of course. They certainly are.
Geoffrey West
Every fundamental law has exceptions. But you still need the law or else all you have is observations that don't make sense. And that's not science. That's just taking notes.
Geoffrey West
You could not have evolved a complex system like a city or an organism – with an enormous number of components – without the emergence of laws that constrain their behavior in order for them to be resilient.
Geoffrey West
Tell me the size of a mammal and I can tell you, to about 85 per cent level, pretty much everything about its physiology and life history, such as how long it is going to live, how many offspring it will have, the length of its aorta, how long it will take to mature, what is the pulse rate in the ninth branch of its circuitry.
Geoffrey West
Sometimes, I look out at nature and I think, 'Everything here is obeying my conjecture.' It's a wonderfully narcissistic feeling.
Geoffrey West
Exciting cities stay exciting, and boring cities stay boring.
Your cells are not working as hard as your dog's but harder than your horse's. The bigger the animal, the less energy needed to sustain a gram of tissue.
Geoffrey West
I spent most of my career doing high-energy physics, quarks, dark matter, string theory and so on.
Geoffrey West
On average, an individual doesn't have a powerful connection with more than four to six people, and that's just as true here in the U.S. as it is in China.
Geoffrey West
The paradigm of physics – with its interplay of data, theory and prediction – is the most powerful in science.
Geoffrey West
It's hard to kill a city, but easy to kill a company.
When I first saw California, it was extraordinary. Because I came from old, black, dark England, still recovering from World War II. I grew up with bomb sites everywhere.
Geoffrey West
Cities are the crucible of civilization.
Cities are the origins of global warming, impact on the environment, health, pollution, disease, finance, economies, energy are all problems that are confronted by having cities. That's where they – all these problems come from.
Geoffrey West
Life is extraordinarily resilient. It's been around for over a billion years.
Geoffrey West
One of the remarkable things about slums is that they do develop their own social organization and economy and even culture that is, on some level, functional and in some cases, remarkably resilient. This is kind of amazing.
Geoffrey West
A human being at rest runs on 90 watts. That's how much power you need just to lie down. And if you're a hunter-gatherer and you live in the Amazon, you'll need about 250 watts. That's how much energy it takes to run about and find food.
Geoffrey West
Everything around us is scale dependent. It's woven into the fabric of the universe.
Geoffrey West
Cities tolerate crazy people. Companies don't.
My provocative statement is that we desperately need a serious, scientific theory of cities and scientific theory means quantifiable, relying on underlying generic principles that can be made in a – put into a predictive framework. That's the quest.
Geoffrey West
We form cities in order to enhance interaction, to facilitate growth, wealth creation, ideas, innovation, but in so doing, we create, from a physicist's viewpoint, entropy.
Geoffrey West
Slums could be thought of as the development of a special organ, or they could be thought of as a tumor that's grown, and in some ways is unhealthy and could ultimately lead to the city's destruction. My own feeling is that slums are probably a bit of both.
Geoffrey West
Cities are just a physical manifestation of your interactions, our interactions, and the clustering and grouping of individuals.
Geoffrey West
If you ask people why they move to the city, they always give the same reasons. They've come to get a job or follow their friends or to be at the center of a scene. That's why we pay the high rent. Cities are all about the people, not the infrastructure.
Geoffrey West
Once we started to urbanize, we put ourselves on this treadmill. We traded away stability for growth. And growth requires change.
Geoffrey West
Cities are obvious metaphors for life. We call roads 'arteries' and so forth.
Geoffrey West
The bigger the city is, the less infrastructure you need per capita.
A city plays the role of a great big magnet that's sucking people up.