How hard is it to choose a single science?

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  • Thread starter Grands
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Hi guys.
My question is about science.
If scientists, or people that want to became scientists, have to choose and only one field of science, like physics, chemistry, biology, math, etc...there isn't the risk of limitate themselves?
I mean, you know, every science field is very wide, and time is never enough, but we know that all the good scientist are curious of the nature, so it is good for them to be a specialist in a single field?

In the past, smart people like Leonardo da Vinci ( who was also a great engineer and an artist) and Galileo, were involved in many fields, while today we then to focalize only on one field, this can't be a limitation?
I know that this is happening because today every field is very wide and every day new thing are discovered, but I still think that is not good to choose an only subject to study.

Maybe this is because in the past people didn't care about money or board, or about that they have to buy a house and have a family, so they just do that.
 
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  • #2
ISamson
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My father is a physicists.
When I asked him what he studied at uni he said: "All of math and all of physics, all of them". It really depends on the fields you like to choose: if you want to be a chemist, for example, it is good to study math, physics and chemistry.

Try to limit down your interests but not your studies. If you like biology then going with both chemistry and biology is not a bad idea.

In the past, smart people like Leonardo da Vinci ( who was also a great engineer and an artist) and Galileo, were involved in many fields, while today we then to focalize only on one field, this can't be a limitation?
We need to focus on a particular field, because all the basics have already been discovered and it is necessary to go in depth for more.

every day new thing are discovered
Not really.

but I still think that is not good to choose an only subject to study.
Definitely
Not only it helps with your focus area, it also expands your knowledge and brain capabilities. Always good to learn different things maybe also have different subjects to study. If you like geography and physics then go with both. Knowing many things from a broad spectrum of subjects never does any harm.
 
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  • #3
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Try to limit down your interests but not your studies. If you like biology then going with both chemistry and biology is not a bad idea.
What a general question, it was not about me, or maybe not only about me.
 
  • #4
ISamson
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What a general question, it was not about me, or maybe not only about me.
I'm sorry, what are you trying to say here?
 
  • #5
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I'm sorry, what are you trying to say here?
It was a general question, about the scientists of our day have to join a single field of science, compared to the scientists of the past.
 
  • #6
symbolipoint
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It was a general question, about the scientists of our day have to join a single field of science, compared to the scientists of the past.
That is very narrow-minded thinking, and too self-limiting.

Attend university for undergraduate degree in Physics - the program WILL require other sciences courses beside just those of Physics.

Attend a university for undergraduate degree in Biology - the program WILL require science courses other than just Biology.
 
  • #7
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Attend a university for undergraduate degree in Biology - the program WILL require science courses other than just Biology.
Yes, but it's only an exam, like basic math, that is simili or easier that the ones of the best high schools.
 
  • #8
f95toli
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It was a general question, about the scientists of our day have to join a single field of science, compared to the scientists of the past.
That is a pointless comparison. It is sometimes said that von Humboldt was the last polymath but even he had to spent a LOT of time just keeping up with the latest developments; the only reason he -allegedly- was able to do so is because he died (1860?)before the advent of modern science.
In order to be able to create something new you need to understand what has already been done. By now there is so much information out there that not only do you have to choose a particular science, but also (most likely) a sub-field of a sub-field to work in. Even keeping up with the most recent literature in a particular area takes a LOT of time and the number of scientific papers being published every day keeps increasing. I could easily spend 100% of my time reading papers that could -potentially- be relevant to my work so -like everyone else- I have to prioritize.

Note. however, that these days many research fields include areas that traditionally would have been considered different sciences. On my (messy) desk I currently have papers on physics(superconducting quantum circuits, topological insulators etc), chemistry (surface chemistry), electron spin resonance, microwave engineering and nanomagnetism; all related to projects I am currently working on. This would be true for pretty much every working scientist.
 
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  • #9
symbolipoint
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Yes, but it's only an exam, like basic math, that is simili or easier that the ones of the best high schools.
Complete nonsense everywhere in the world.
 
  • #10
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Complete nonsense everywhere in the world.
I was speaking the level of math in the biology degree.
 
  • #11
symbolipoint
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Yes, but it's only an exam, like basic math, that is simili or easier that the ones of the best high schools.
Complete nonsense everywhere in the world.
I was speaking the level of math in the biology degree.
You were speaking about fields of Sciences.
 
  • #12
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Math is not a science ?
 
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  • #13
ISamson
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  • #16
symbolipoint
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Math is not a science ?
I think it is.
It was a rhetorical question.
I was speaking the level of math in the biology degree.
You were speaking about fields of Sciences.
Explain now why this topic was started as How hard is to choose a single science? Explain how post #1 discussing choices of sciences is really Mathematics but not science?
 
  • #17
ISamson
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To answer the OP, I think you must know yourself well enough to know what you want to go on with. Which subjects do you like? Any hobbies? Topics?
(@Grands).
 
  • #19
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Do you mean that more you discover more you understand that you know very few things?
 
  • #21
symbolipoint
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Do you mean that more you discover more you understand that you know very few things?
If donpacino's post #20 does not convey the meaning, then nothing will.
 
  • #22
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I don't understand the penultimate picture.
 

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