Chennai Mathematical Institute


The Changing Character of Scientific Research (Public Lecture)
Prof. Phillip A. Griffiths
Director, Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, U.S.A.


Today we are rapidly learning how closely all scientific and mathematical knowledge is interrelated and interconnected. We have begun to see this knowledge as a web of principles and relationships that extends from invisible atomic particles to the vast biological and social systems of the earth. The shift in our awareness can be described in terms of five general trends:

  • From the linear model to the dynamic model of research;
  • From theory + experiment to the addition of advanced computation;
  • From disciplinary to interdisciplinary research;
  • Toward the study of complex systems;
  • Toward globalization and the diffusion of knowledge.
All of these trends are moving us toward modes of thinking and working that are more interdisciplinary, fluid, and global.