Jon Borrelli over at Assembling my Network has a really nice post about the Robert May complexity-stability debate that I highly recommend. He points to a comparatively unknown paper by Alan Roberts that was published in Nature shortly after the May paper from 1972. Roberts shows that correcting for a fundamental inconsistency in May’s assumptions basically turns around all the results, leading to higher stability with higher complexity. Despite that, Robert May’s contribution had the far greater impact, inspired a lot of good research and remains the classical citation with which people like to start their talks about complexity stability. Rightly so? Probably not if you take Jeremy’s “being influential doesn’t compensate for being wrong” post seriously.