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Impact in science requires balancing atypical knowledge with conventional knowledge?

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So says a paper in Science,

Novelty is an essential feature of creative ideas, yet the building blocks of new ideas are often embodied in existing knowledge. From this perspective, balancing atypical knowledge with conventional knowledge may be critical to the link between innovativeness and impact. Our analysis of 17.9 million papers spanning all scientific fields suggests that science follows a nearly universal pattern: The highest-impact science is primarily grounded in exceptionally conventional combinations of prior work yet simultaneously features an intrusion of unusual combinations. Papers of this type were twice as likely to be highly cited works. Novel combinations of prior work are rare, yet teams are 37.7% more likely than solo authors to insert novel combinations into familiar knowledge domains. (paywall)

How does this play out in situations with which readers are familiar?

2 Replies to “Impact in science requires balancing atypical knowledge with conventional knowledge?

  1. 1
    selvaRajan says:

    I agree. The best way to understand this universally is to look at universal laws. The knowledge of one law leads to another atypical law.
    Law: Objects travel in straight line unless a force is applied to change the direction
    Law: Moon doesn’t travel in straight line, so a force is needed to change its trajectory
    Law: The moon’s trajectory dips in by a certain amount over a second. so calculate this dip and lo and behold, we have the force required for this dip and this is equal to Earth’s gravity!
    Law: If moon and earth attract each other, then its possible all objects attract each other and lo and behold we have Universal gravitation.
    So lets try an experiment to see the attraction .we come to Cavendish experiment which gave the Gravitational constant!
    Law: When observing Jupiter’s moon orbit, it seemed to travel faster when it was closer to Earth. This lead to conclusion that light is not instantaneous. It also has a speed and speed of light was calculated !
    Thus it can be seen that conventional knowledge was the building blocks of so many other discoveries.

  2. 2
    Robert Byers says:

    Oh brother. Thats just dumb.
    The bible teaches that all intelligence comes from without us. We have nothing in us innately.
    Forever man just discovers or manipulates discoveries. no big deal or compliment to man.
    Yes present understanding, knowledge, wisdom is a foundation for getting more.
    Yet we only get it from learning outside ourselves.
    The world is tryng to say man creates his ideas. However he jusy recognizes them from nature including wisdom or manipulation of discovered truths.
    Show one person who ever thought up something independent of natures already existing machines.!!

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