Antedisciplinary

Via the Language Log, which is in debt to Ernie’s 3D Pancakes, this essay by Sean Eddy on “antedisciplinary” science:

Progress is driven by new scientific questions, which demand new ways of thinking. You want to go where a question takes you, not where your training left you. We may not have a single clarion call to arms like Schrödinger’s What is Life? driving physicists into levent eskort biology right now, as in the beginnings of molecular biology. But we do have powerful new technologies to harness (computational biology), newly revitalized approaches to old problems (systems biology), and new areas altogether (synthetic biology). New disciplines eventually self-organize around new problems and approaches, creating a new shared culture. This shared culture coalesces into the next essential training regimen for the next generation of scientists, and with luck, some of these people will overcome their training to open up more new beylikduzu eskort fields of inquiry. Interdisciplinary science is just the embryonic stage of a new discipline. To value interdisciplinary science for its own sake is to value history over progress—that is, to value people’s past training more than their current work.