(K. Brent Tomer),
Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life, in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies. By Geoffrey West. Penguin Press; 479 pages; $30. Weidenfeld & Nicholson; £25.
GEOFFREY WEST is the restless sort. He has spent much of his career as a theoretical physicist, working at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico. After a while he became fascinated by biology, then cities and companies. He is interested in all sorts of things, from Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s ship designs to Ingmar Bergman’s films. When he says that he drives his wife nuts, you believe him.
On one level, “Scale” is a book about Mr West’s peculiar career path. But on another, it is about the hidden mathematical patterns underlying life, cities and commerce. Many things that appear unrelated are actually linked, he says. The size of…Continue reading