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Multi science studying is it possbile?

  1. Jul 22, 2015 #1
    i was thinking about studying different science branches and im kind of trying to do it now that i have just finished my high school
    does human brain have limitation for learning and thinking ?
    can i boost my brain with a good exercise and nutrition plan in a very effective way ?

    i've read about some scientist and noticed that they had contributions in many branches
    like Galilei he was an astronomer, physicist, engineer, philosopher, and mathematician .
    but we are living in a very different time so im not very sure if its possible

    branches i like to study : programming , physics , mathematics , philosophy and electronics (not as much as others) .
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 22, 2015 #2


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    Of course you can study different branches of science. I don't think there's any "limitation" on human capacity that prevents it. The biggest factor is usually time. You only have so much time to work on a problem. And today, a lot of science tends to move forward in small steps made on big problems and the time it takes to make those small steps is often measured in years. People have to put in years of effort in order to properly understand them - and all the efforts that have been put in up until this point to try and solve them.

    The issue with looking at historical figures is often one of "low hanging fruit." During the Renaissance, for example, there was a lot people didn't know. So a little bit of science and logic went a long way. And once you understood some basic principles, you could make some very significant contributions to different problems. Today the basics are well known. And you have a lot of well-educated people who have time dedicated to thinking about the problems in these fields. So a lot of the "easy" solutions have been found and each branch of science is moving forward working on the more challenging problems.

    People still do cross-disciplinary work though. Often, what happens is that a person develops a particular skill set and that skill set can be applied to many different problems. So rather than one person learning all about different problems, you have one person collaborating with different groups, making different contributions in different areas.

    And as far as "boosting your brain" goes, there are a lot of books on that. In my experience a lot of maximizing your potential comes down to generally taking care of yourself: get enough sleep, eat well, exercise, avoid unnecessary stress, put quality in your down time, find good mentors, and constantly try to better yourself.

    Oh, and I think your shift key is broken.
  4. Jul 22, 2015 #3


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    Interdisciplinary science is a huge focus in science in the moment, certainly the UK. Amongst emerging fields there is a need for researchers to be educated in multiple different areas in order to investigate and create new technologies. Regenerative medicine for example draws from cell biology, material science, mathematics, computational modelling, surgical science, bioengineering etc etc. There are plenty of university courses that take this into account.

    Having said that whilst it's possible (and necessary in many cases) to become a "multi-specialist" it isn't possible to become fully competent/knowledgeable in every field. There simply isn't enough time. Even if you worked flat out, ignoring holidays and working extra hours it would take at least two years to complete an undergrad course (basing that on proposals from a few years ago to introduce speed up 2 year degrees to UK universities). An undergraduate course doesn't make you an expert in a field, it makes you an entry level researcher. You now know the basic concepts and have some skills but there's a long way to go, usually across a 3 year PhD with a possible masters year thrown in between. Even with a PhD you're not really an expert in a field, more like a journeyman.

    On top of that degrees and PhDs force you to specialise more and more as time goes on. My biology undergrad had 75% mandatory courses versus optional in the first year. By the third it was 100% optional courses. I had friends I'd met on day one that were now studying completely different aspects of biology than I was. I did once do a BOTE calculation and reasoned that doing every course would take around three times longer.

    Lastly (sorry to labour the point) even if you did get a degree in the five fields you mention by the time you finished the last half of what you learnt in the first you would have forgotten and a lot of the rest is likely to be obsolete. Science is a bit like youtube, on that site hours of videos are posted every minute making it impossible to watch it all. In science years of work are published every day.
  5. Jul 22, 2015 #4


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    ...I studied those branches (except philosophy) for my M.Sc. in Computer Science & Computer Engineering.
  6. Jul 22, 2015 #5
    well i didnt mean to get degree in all of them ..

    yes even understanding basics and some extra information can really help you in your main subject
    you will have different point of views and different approaches to a matter and it makes you much more innovative in each of subjects
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