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Valley d'Aigues Research

Department of General Science

For over a century, the academic world has concentrated on the role of the specialist: experts who know more and more about a narrower and narrower field. This is inevitable; the capacity of each human mind is finite, so in-depth knowledge can only be expected if the width of the subject is restricted. However, the world still needs generalists, whose knowledge is not so deep, but integrated over a far wider span of subjects. Such people have, at their disposal, a very powerful method of problem-solving, and are able to find solutions to problems by analogy and cross-pollination across otherwise unrelated subjects. In addition, they are, indeed, also the integrators, bringing the work of the specialists together for the benefit of society.

A proposal can be made for setting up a Department of Generalist Science and Engineering. This is supported by an emphasis on books from the popular science section of the bookshops, and of the New Scientist weekly magazine.

Quora can be viewed as a world-wide tutorial system: sometimes it is me giving the tutorial on subjects that I feel confident to comment on; other times, it is me taking the part of the student, asking for a tutorial by someone more knowledgeable on the subject. Before that, there was usenet.

This page, by no means claims to present an exclusive list. Several of these projects are still 'work-in-progress'. I am always interested in acting as a consultant, advisor, partner or other type of collaborator on interesting projects.

Computer Aided Design (CAD)


Genetic Algorithms

Computerising genealogy


Technical Writing

Technical writers routinely have to rewrite and restructure the documents on which they work (and not just act as typists or translators). Of course, they can only do this in subjects that they understand. This means that technical writers must understand as wide a spectrum of subjects as that in which they intend to write. This understanding does not need to be carried to the point of being able to put it into engineering practice, of course. It is only necessary to be aware of the new techniques and terminology, and to understand fully what they mean when they appear in a document.

Computer Engineering


Chemical Engineering

Astronomical Modelling


Artificial Consciousness

Statistical Analysis

Student Project Supervision

  Agriculture, viticulture, viniculture

Nuclear fusion

  • Central Integration Office (CIO) of the ITER Organisation: Not a specialist in the superconducting magnets, cryogenics, cyclotron heating, microwave heating, cooling water, or vacuum systems, but with sufficient knowledge of each to be able to talk to each of them
Environment Irrigation Horticulture Composting
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