a story lives forever
Sign in
Form submission failed!

Stay signed in

Recover your password?
Form submission failed!

Web of Stories Ltd would like to keep you informed about our products and services.

Please tick here if you would like us to keep you informed about our products and services.

I have read and accepted the Terms & Conditions.

Please note: Your email and any private information provided at registration will not be passed on to other individuals or organisations without your specific approval.

Video URL

You must be registered to use this feature. Sign in or register.


Gell-Mann's research: 1997


Analytic work at Santa Fe. Integrative workshop
Murray Gell-Mann Scientist
Comments (0) Please sign in or register to add comments

There is some analytic work. The theoretical immunologists do a lot of analytic work, and you do… and you do analytic work and some other people do analytic work. So it's not absent. No, but the dominance is… But we need more… we need more, how shall I say, mobility among analytic and computer models and so on, I think. We need more interaction among people. We haven't developed departments, not at all, but we have to some extent developed groups of people who have different vocabularies and different notation and different leaders and so on, and… and don't interact nearly so much as they should. Next summer's integrative workshop may help a little with that but only if people actually listen to one another rather than just speaking at one another.

[Q] I… I wanted to ask you a little bit about that, about this… this business that one of the… one of the dicta of the Santa Fe Institute had been not to have departments, of course, it was antithetical to the whole idea, and the question of how to avoid precisely…

Well we don't have departments, so that's not an issue. We're not going to have departments.

[Q] Absolutely not, but how to avoid the issue which you've just raised, how do you stop not departments, but the groupings of people who…

Well I don't think we have to stop them but we need more integration and I think that maybe the integrative workshop, if it's handled better than last time, may… may produce that, but it's essential that people really be encouraged to listen to one another and argue with one another and not just talk past one another. I think maybe it will help some.

New York-born physicist Murray Gell-Mann (1929-2019) was known for his creation of the eightfold way, an ordering system for subatomic particles, comparable to the periodic table. His discovery of the omega-minus particle filled a gap in the system, brought the theory wide acceptance and led to Gell-Mann's winning the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1969.

Listeners: Geoffrey West

Geoffrey West is a Staff Member, Fellow, and Program Manager for High Energy Physics at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is also a member of The Santa Fe Institute. He is a native of England and was educated at Cambridge University (B.A. 1961). He received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1966 followed by post-doctoral appointments at Cornell and Harvard Universities. He returned to Stanford as a faculty member in 1970. He left to build and lead the Theoretical High Energy Physics Group at Los Alamos. He has numerous scientific publications including the editing of three books. His primary interest has been in fundamental questions in Physics, especially those concerning the elementary particles and their interactions. His long-term fascination in general scaling phenomena grew out of his work on scaling in quantum chromodynamics and the unification of all forces of nature. In 1996 this evolved into the highly productive collaboration with James Brown and Brian Enquist on the origin of allometric scaling laws in biology and the development of realistic quantitative models that analyse the influence of size on the structural and functional design of organisms.

Tags: Santa Fe Institute

Duration: 1 minute, 39 seconds

Date story recorded: October 1997

Date story went live: 29 September 2010