Complexity Trap

Is science becoming

too specialized?

Science still discovers and invents new things. That's good news. However, the more discoveries we make, the more specialized scientific work becomes. This means larger teams with greater individual specialism may be needed for research. This may negatively impact productivity. About a third of our survey respondents believe that the fact that natural limits to discovery and the easiet targets have been reached is a significant barrier to research productivity. Has this led us into a trap? If so, how do we get out again?  

  • 85%

    believe that carrying out scientific research in their field is increasingly complex

  • 36%

    say the increasing need for specialized skills and more complex teams, is a barrier to productivity

  • 34%

    believe there are natural limits to discovery and that the easiest targets have already been met 

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What are your thoughts on the current state of productivity in scientific research? Do you have ideas on how scientific research can be more productive? Join the discussion in our LinkedIn group or participate in one of our other social media channels using the hashtag #productivescience


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