Range

Range

Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World

David Epstein

Casadevall declared that the pace of progress had slowed, while the rate of retractions in scientific literature had accelerated, proportionally outpacing the publication of new studies. “If this continues unabated,” he said, “the entire literature will be retracted in a few years.” It was science gallows humor, but grounded in data. Part of the problem, he argued, is that young scientists are rushed to specialize before they learn how to think; they end up unable to produce good work themselves and unequipped to spot bad (or fraudulent) work by their colleagues.

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