GEOFFREY WEST, Distinguished Professor and Past President of the Santa Fe Institute, is a theoretical physicist whose primary interests have been in fundamental questions in physics, especially those concerning the elementary particles, their interactions and cosmological implications. Prior to joining the Santa Fe Institute as a Distinguished Professor in 2003, he was the leader, and founder, of the high energy physics group at Los Alamos National Laboratory, where he is one of only approximately ten Senior Fellows.
His long-term fascination in general scaling phenomena evolved into a highly productive collaboration on the origin of universal scaling laws that pervade biology from the molecular genomic scale up through mitochondria and cells to whole organisms and ecosystems. This led to the development of realistic quantitative models for the structural and functional design of organisms based on underlying universal principles. This work, begun at the Institute, has received much attention in both the scientific and popular press.
He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and was one of their Centenary Speakers in 2003. He has been a lecturer in many popular and distinguished scientist series worldwide, as well as at the World Economic Forum. Among recent honors he was a co-receiver of the Mercer Award from the Ecological Society of America, the Weldon Memorial Prize (2005), Oxford University and the Glenn Award for research on Aging. In 2006 he was named one of Time magazine's"100 Most Influential People in the World" and his work selected as one of the breakthrough ideas of 2007 by the Harvard Business Review. He is the author of several books including Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies, a visiting Professor of Mathematics at Imperial College, London, and an Associate Fellow of the Said Business School at Oxford University.