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Science should be done by cyborg teams


With information from the University of Houston – 08/04/2022

Data collection and classification schemes.
[Imagem: Alexander M. Petersen et al. (2022)]

Scientific convergence

What is the thread that unites mRNA vaccines, quantum computers and robots on the Moon and Mars, and harnessing new energy sources?

They were all the product of scientific convergence, in which knowledge from various scientific disciplines is combined into broader new knowledge that drives modern civilization. Over the past 70 years, convergence has had more success than science in all of its previous multigenerational history combined.

To understand how this happened, the researchers spent 10 years modeling the evolution of scientific convergence. To do this, they used machine learning and other advanced data analysis methods to analyze millions of scientific papers.

They identify several stages in the development of science, each of which is characterized by a different form of convergence. First, the affinity of Bolmata, which characterized early science until the Renaissance, as well as such famous Bolmatians as Aristotle and Leonardo da Vinci – Bolmata is a person whose knowledge is not limited to one area, unlike today’s specialists. In the Polish convergence, the integration of knowledge was taking place in the minds of unique scholars of each era.

This was followed by a period of disciplinary divergence, in which theories developed within certain disciplines were transformed into more general models with broader applications—a phenomenon the authors call convergence for the sake of difference. An example is Darwin’s theory of evolution in biology, which others have used to explain economic and social systems.

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Then, in the middle of the twentieth century, came the age of interdisciplinary teams, where experts from different disciplines worked together to achieve a common goal. In the convergence of interdisciplinary teams, the integration of knowledge between teams of scholars with diverse expertise has taken place. A famous example of this kind of convergence is the Manhattan Project, which produced nuclear bombs but also ushered humanity into the age of nuclear power.


Research directions in various fields of neuroscience.
[Imagem: Alexander M. Petersen et al. (2022)]

evolution of science

“Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, we have detected the emergence of another form of convergence, which we call the political group convergence,” says Professor Ioannis Pavlidis, from the University of Houston, USA.

“In the convergence of the Polish teams, the integration of knowledge within and between academics, i.e. a combination of the convergence of individual Polish teams and the convergence of multidisciplinary teams. Recent brain science research shows evidence of the convergence of the Polish team.

“This is not the first theory about the basic mechanisms of the development of science. However, it is the first theory of the development of science to rely largely on big data analysis and modeling, which allows us to not only ‘prove’ the theory refer to the past but also to estimate confidence in the theory’s predictions for the future “.

Regarding these predictions for the future, the team expects that, in the mid-21st century, the convergence will evolve into what they call the cyborg team convergence, in which Polish scientists collaborate with AI agents in mixed human-machine teams.

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Article: Major challenges and emerging patterns of convergence of science
Authors: Alexander M. Petersen, Muhammad E. Ahmed, Ioannis Pavlidis
Journal: Humanities and Social Communications
Volume: 8, Article Number: 194

Article: From Polymaths to Cyborgs – Uncompromising Convergence
Authors: Ioannis Pavlidis, Ergon Ackelman, Alexander M. Petersen
Magazine: American Scientist
Volume: 110, Issue 4
DOI: 10.1511 / 2022.110.4.196

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