Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Inrerdisciplinary wars

Okay, they are not real wars. But, they are not love, either!

First, we have Eszter Hargittai of Crooked Timber firing the first shot with a complaint that physicists who work on the theory of social networks generally do not pay attention to the work of sociologists in the same field (a subset of social network theory is covered by Malcolm Gladwell's bestseller Tipping Point). Some of the work of the former, sometimes, ends up reproducing results that were discovered by sociologists ages ago. Henry Farrell, another Crooked Timber blogger, asked Cosma Shalizi, a physicist, for his perspective. (Cosma has an excellent blog Three toed sloth, and announced -- I think, for the first time! -- to the world a new way of looking at the US election results using beautiful maps; he is a man with an enormous depth of expertise in an enormously wide range of subjects). Now, you have a nice discussion about interdisciplinary and crossdisciplinary research, and the responsibilities of those who do such research. Much of the discussion is quite accessible to non-experts.

Then we have this tongue in cheek stuff from Brad DeLong about John Baez's attempt to state Einstein's general relativity equation in plain English.


  1. Anonymous said...

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