NATURE: Science must move with the times

Press/Media: Expert comment

Release date: 5/11/2019

Description

Here we arrive at one stretch of the ‘complexity’ frontier. If history is any guide, we should expect that understanding these complex systems will not emerge by drawing analogies with the latest cutting-edge technologies. Just as the brain is not (as was thought in the early nineteenth century) a battery, neither is it a computer; nor is the genome a digital list of parts. And more data, although extremely valuable as a resource, will not help us without new ideas. These are in short supply. As neurobiologist and historian Matthew Cobb at the University of Manchester, UK, writes, “no major conceptual innovation has been made in our overall understanding of how the brain works for over half a century”7.

Media contributions

TitleScience must move with the times
Media name/outletNature
Media typeWeb
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Date5/11/19
DescriptionHere we arrive at one stretch of the ‘complexity’ frontier. If history is any guide, we should expect that understanding these complex systems will not emerge by drawing analogies with the latest cutting-edge technologies. Just as the brain is not (as was thought in the early nineteenth century) a battery, neither is it a computer; nor is the genome a digital list of parts. And more data, although extremely valuable as a resource, will not help us without new ideas. These are in short supply. As neurobiologist and historian Matthew Cobb at the University of Manchester, UK, writes, “no major conceptual innovation has been made in our overall understanding of how the brain works for over half a century”7.
URLhttps://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-019-03307-8
PersonsMatthew Cobb