The Dilemma of Specialization

“The Dilemma of Specialization.” In Leonard D. White (ed.) The State of the Social Sciences. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1956.


“We have been commemorating the foundation of a research centre within our University, and our thoughts have inevitably often touched upon the problem of the relation between research and education, and of education for research. It may therefore be fitting if this last evening is devoted to a problem in this field which must give concern to many of us. Research, of necessity, requires specialization, often in a very minute field. It is probably also true that those exacting standards which fruitful scientific work demands can be acquired only through the complete mastery of at least one field, which today means that it must be a narrow field, and also, that it ought to be one which has its own firmly established standards. Thus a progressive tendency toward specialization seems to be inevitable, bound to continue and to grow, both in research and in university education.”

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