The story of Science and multidisciplinary studies
Once upon a time, there was man and a mass of unknown. Man’s life was affected and sometimes shattered to pieces by the unknown. So some turned to faith and mythical creatures to explain the unknown while the rest engaged in observation and experimentation to understand the unknown and called themselves scientists. One of the first things the scientists did was to divide the unknown to pieces and to define disciplines: Mathematics, Physics, Biology, … . By drawing the lines the mass of unknown started to make sense as more and more phenomena were understood under each discipline. Mathematics flourished, rules of physics were discovered and mysteries of life were explored in Biology. Science has now turned into a tree with strong branches in each discipline growing to infinity to conquer the unknown.
As the time advanced, the lines between disciplines grow thicker and thicker, more and more the disciplines turned rigid in what they included and what they considered irrelevant. The common root was forgotten, now the scientists in each field saw their fields as a separate tree, which had its own branches expanding exponentially. Universities were divided into departments, research instituted were founded to discover what was still unknown, but this time what was unknown in their own universe. Young scientist were to choose their discipline sooner in their career and stick to it if expecting fame and prosperity. Now the scientists in each field have developed not only their own style, method and tools of approaching the unknown but their own personalities, languages and norms.
The dark parts falling between branches were forgotten, the branches now were growing into the extreme far while closer areas were left unexplored. The scientists considered their fields as separated universes, making new discoveries only to finding out it was already discovered but in another field! Some disciplines started to adopt to the need of other disciplines, providing tools and methods for discoveries in other disciplines. Physicist and mathematicians collaborated in creating the greatest scientific tool ever: a master-calculator with storage and visualisation abilities later to be known as computers. Chemists and biologists joined the club and Bioinformatics were born.
Biology was revolutionised and now speeding forward with light speed. Now you can see the illusive elements of inheritance, your genes, on an screen. Numerous biological database were created to archive many aspects of living organisms, from proteins and their interactions to metabolic pathways. Genomes are popping up, now you can explore the tiny, tiny sequences of ATGCs in you genome and also many other organisms’ genomes across kingdoms, from tiny algae and fungi to Coelacanths, amazing fish once thought to have gone extinct.