An article entitled “Is Eintstein the Last Great Genius?” has rather curiously appeared on Yahoo!, of all places.
It is partly a review of an article that recently appeared in the International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics by a Duke engineer named Adrian Bejan. The central claim seems to be that, until the mid-20th century, scientific breakthroughs were typically the province of solitary “geniuses,” but that more recently they have become the products of collectives — highly funded institutes and the like.
First, this strikes me as a vast overgeneralization. Second, I’m not at all certain that the claim that people like Darwin were “solitary geniuses” stands up to scrutiny. Continue reading Is Careful History Inherently Unpopularizable?