Showing posts from May, 2023

Reflections on “Systems – the Science of Everything”

Did you ever get the feeling, when you’re working on some problem (scientific or otherwise), that there are some basic principles at play that elude you, but that must have been worked out already by somebody? That’s certainly been my experience in my career in biology, whether it was in developmental biology, human genetics, neuroscience or other areas. I’ve felt the joy of discovering new components of systems and working out some interactions and pathways, but also a nagging feeling that I was not seeing the whole picture – that I was elucidating details of what was happening, but not grasping what the system was doing . I often felt like I lacked the principled framework to even approach that question. This was not because such frameworks don’t exist but because I had never learned about them – systems principles had simply not been part of my education.   This seems to be true across many disciplines. We’re all so specialised that we have to concentrate on the specifics of our