EDITORIAL

Time to Play Ball

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Science  21 Jun 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6139, pp. 1375
DOI: 10.1126/science.1241593

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Summary

What if baseball were organized like science? Aspiring catchers or shortstops, like students of physics or molecular biology, would be trained by professional counterparts, and top prospects with dazzling skills would turn pro without learning that by combining their specialized talents, they could create an entirely different game. Managers, owners, and marketers would seek and reward individual stars at each position but would not facilitate or nurture a team culture or even a team game. In science, traditions, policies, and bureaucracies isolate scientific disciplines and their discoveries and technologies, squandering exciting opportunities that could be empowered by merged ideas and efforts—in short, by teamwork. A recent report from the American Academy of Arts and Sciences asserts that knocking down such boundaries would reveal great new opportunities; indeed, a new game.