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Surprising Science

Scientific Discovery Today

The complexity of our 21st century problems has not just led to a postponement in peak creativity. It has also lessened the importance of the individual.

in the State of the Union, President Obama emphasized the importance of innovation in “winning the future.” It’s clear that he wants to usher in a golden era of American ingenuity, to unleash the talent of everyone. But what if we’ve become less talented? … The era of the lone genius is coming to an end. If our current lists of global thinkers seem paltry, it’s because the best thinkers no longer exist by themselves, toiling away in a vacuum. Instead, they require the constant feedback and knowledge of others. We live in a world of such complexity that our problems increasingly exceed the possibilities of the individual mind. Collaboration is no longer an option.


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