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In academia in particular, but in many other areas, we have to specialize. Many academics know a huge amount of information on a very specialized subject. Few of us have a broad understanding of our field as a whole, let alone a more broad understanding of related areas and even our specialization in other areas. Fewer of us have a broad understanding of the body of knowledge as whole. With information access and development today, it impossible to understand the whole. Yet not having broad understanding limits our work, the impact of our work, and even the future of our work.

Murray Gell-Mann, Nobel Prize winner in 1969 for physics state it clearly: “it is vitally important that we supplement our specialized studies with serious attempts to take a crude look at the whole.”

So, step back, look around. See what else is going on.

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