Is small beautiful?


  • AA VV



CERN; IdeaSquare; coffee paper.


The IdeaSquare innovation team confronts a question many hardly dare to ask. But as always, it never shies away from a good challenge. This time, the journey starts with questioning the universality of the way particle physics research scales up. Is bigger better? The adventure then starts, bottom up, from asking whether small is beautiful. Then, relying on dimensions of politics, biology and finally, physics, the IdeaSquare innovation team find the Universal Truth to answer… (or not) the very question everyone is wondering.


E. Junqué de Fortuny, David Martens, and Foster Provost. Predictive Modeling With Big Data: Is Bigger Really Better?.Big Data.Dec 2013.215-226.

K. Desmet, S. L. Parente, Bigger Is Better: Market Size, Demand Elasticity, and Innovation. International Economic Review, May 2010.

M. Gashler, C. Giraud-Carrier and T. Martinez, "Decision Tree Ensemble: Small Heterogeneous Is Better Than Large Homogeneous," 2008 Seventh International Conference on Machine Learning and Applications, San Diego, CA, USA, 2008, pp. 900-905, doi: 10.1109/ICMLA.2008.154.

Huang, KF., Yu, CM.J. & Seetoo, DH. Firm innovation in policy-driven parks and spontaneous clusters: the smaller firm the better?. J Technol Transf 37, 715–731 (2012).

Oberwittler, Dietrich & Wikström, Per-Olof. (2009). Why Small Is Better: Advancing the Study of the Role of Behavioral Contexts in Crime Causation. Putting crime in its place : Units of analysis in geographic criminology, 33-58 (2009). 10.1007/978-0-387-09688-9_2.

E.F. Schumacher, Small Is Beautiful: Economics As If People Mattered: 25 Years Later...With Commentaries, Hartley & Marks Publishers, 1999.

D. H. Silvera, R. A. Josephs, R. B. Giesler, Bigger is better: the influence of physical size on aesthetic preference judgments. Behavioral Decision Making, February 2002.

John Tyler Bonner, Why Size Matters: From Bacteria to Blue Whales, Princeton University Press, 2006. (Includes the five rules commented).

L. D. Landau, IU. B. Rumer, What Is Relativity? Published by Dover Publications, 2003. The original is MIR Publishers, 1981.

Shakespeare’s Sonnets, (Sonnet 18th in this reference).




How to Cite

VV, A. (2023). Is small beautiful?. CERN IdeaSquare Journal of Experimental Innovation, 7(2), 51–55.



IdeaSquare Coffee papers