The IUCN Academy of Environmental Law series
Edited by Paul Martin and Amanda Kennedy
Paul Martin and Amanda Kennedy The history of science shows that the evolution of scholarly investigation follows two lines of development. The first is that innovations undergo a transformation from relatively low efficiency to higher efficiency as the discovery is refined and applied; implementation skill is gained through experience; and incremental inventions that improve on the original are brought to bear.1 This phenomenon has been observed in many fields of knowledge. It is well illustrated by the trajectories of computer technology, psychological science, transport methods and in almost any other area of human endeavour where disciplined and purposeful development is applied.2 The second evolutionary pattern is that in most fields deepening of knowledge leads to differentiation into specialisations. This is illustrated by the physical sciences. Prior to the Scientific Enlightenment, religion, philosophy and science were intermixed. Gradually, subjective elements were excised from what was characterised as legitimate science. Philosophy, religion and science became distinct. These investigations evolved along different paths, as scholars and practitioners tackled increasingly specialist challenges. In science, what are now called chemistry and physics were originally intermixed, but gradually developed distinct epistemology and methodologies, as researchers pursued more specialised knowledge. Within physics, for example, there are epistemological differences between nuclear physics, planetary physics, and many esoteric and applied pursuits of principles and methods of this science. Over time sub-fields proliferate and become more knowledgeintense. They interact less with the parent field from which they evolve or 1 2 David Teece (1986). Robert Schaller (1997). 1 Columns Design...