In a world where we tend to all become over specialized to defend our own niche, it’s good to hear about people like Erez Lieberman Aiden. This multidisciplinary or interdisciplinary thing that everybody’s talking about, do you know what I mean ? Well, this kind of people are actually doing it. Fascinating. Reminds me of Peter Lu, also at MIT.
His approach stands in stark contrast to the standard scientific career: find an area of interest and become increasingly knowledgeable about it. Instead of branching out from a central speciality, Aiden is interested in ‘interdisciplinary’ problems that cross the boundaries of different disciplines.
In a (scientific) world with such a wealth of information, the problem is indeed not to know everything, but know that the information that might make the difference for you exists. If you keep an eye on apparently disparate problem, you start seeing connexions which can actually make a great difference. And yet, there is very little place for people like this in our systems. Shame. More on his homepage.