Tearing down disciplinary barriers



In recent years the solutions of scientific problems in practically all branches of science have been demanding from the participating researchers an increased specialization on one hand and the pursuit of an increasingly interdisciplinary approach on the other. This paradoxical development of increasing convergence and specificity of the basic scientific questions with a concomitantly increasing global scope and multiplicity of the intervening disciplines is beginning to have a considerable impact on the conduct of research programs, on the structure of research institutions, on the internal organization of funding agencies and professional scientific societies, and on university curricula and training methods. In addition, it is beginning to have effects on the scientific community per se, effects that range from purely academic to eminently psychological.