Shaun Hendy is Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini and Professor of Physics at the University of Auckland. His interest in the science of complexity was piqued at a lunchtime journal club at Industrial Research Ltd, where the group got talking about complexity scientist Geoffrey West’s work on the increase in the number of patents per capita with city size in the United States. Hendy then downloaded an international patent database to check if the same patterns occurred in New Zealand, and found that the difference in patents per capita between Australia and New Zealand could be explained by the difference in population distributions.

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