Applied Complexity Roundtable
  US Mountain Time
Geoffrey West

In this hour-long virtual discussion with SFI’s Applied Complexity Network, SFI Shannan Distinguished Professor and former President of the Santa Fe Institute, Geoffrey West addresses The Seminal Role of Social Networks and Cities in Pandemics, Innovation and Sustainability. This talk is loosely drawn from Geoffrey West and Chris Kempesrecent paper in SFI’s Transmission series


These ACtioN conversations are by invitation, and typically follow the Chatham House Rule. However, because of the importance of this topic, and in agreement with the speaker, this video is being made publicly available.

For more ways that SFI is responding to COVID-19, please see the Transmission series


Geoffrey West is the Shannan Distinguished Professor and former President of the Santa Fe Institute and Associate Senior Fellow of Oxford University’s Green-Templeton College. His BA is from Cambridge and his PhD from Stanford, where he later returned to join the faculty. West is a theoretical physicist whose primary interests have been in fundamental questions ranging from the elementary particles and their cosmological implications to universal scaling laws in biology and a quantitative science of cities, companies and global sustainability. His work is motivated by the search for “simplicity underlying complexity.” His research includes metabolism, growth, aging and lifespan, sleep, cancer and ecosystems, the dynamics of cities and companies, rates of growth and innovation, and the accelerating pace of life.

West has given many lectures world-wide including Davos and TED. Among his awards are the Mercer Prize from the Ecological Society of America, the Weldon Prize for Mathematical Biology, the Glenn Award for Aging Research and the Szilard Award from the American Physical Society. He has been featured in many publications world-wide including the New York TimesFinancial TimesWiredTimeThe EconomistNature and Science and participated in television productions including NovaNational Geographic and BBC. He is the author of the best-selling book Scale. His public service includes serving on the Council of the World Economic Forum. His work was selected as a breakthrough idea by the Harvard Business Review in 2006 and he was on Time magazine’s list of “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2007.

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