Monday, February 2, 2004

The father of fractals: "Benoit Mandelbrot's unusual multidisciplinary approach led him to an extraordinary discovery. He worries that modern science is now becoming too specialised."

"Science, he says, has become like a professional sport, where an athlete's worth is assessed solely within a narrowly defined event. While the tendency to form guilds is natural, he says, a few mavericks are essential, or the guild-based nature of science could lead to a loss of public interest and trust. Science requires the approval of society, which depends in turn on the availability of credible and articulate interlocutors."

An interdisciplinary mathematician! It only takes a few to keep life (and math, and science) interesting.

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