, Volume 2, Issue 4, pp 411-414

An emerging science and praxis for research and practice teams

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A meta-trend, observable over the past several decades, is that work is being conducted increasingly by teams. The proportion of scientific publications authored by groups rather than solo authors has more than doubled in the past 50 years [1, 2]. As the volume of scientific knowledge has expanded over time, it has become increasingly difficult for a single individual to have deep expertise in multiple disciplines. For example, Galileo defined modern physics while also creating the telescope that launched observational astronomy, and Descartes shaped modern philosophy while also inventing analytic geometry. These kinds of Renaissance era contributions made by individuals working alone have become increasingly rare, and—we believe—for a good reason. Solving complex problems now routinely requires collaboration among experts from different specialties working to reach shared understandings that integrate specialized knowledge bases [3, 4].

In modern health care as well, solo pra