Justin Jacoby Smith is an organizer, web geek, Buddhist, and poet.

"The Discovered Country" would not be a good Star Trek title

At Ideas Market Jonah Lehrer connects some dots to argue that, with scientists having made all the easy discoveries already--the last human organ was discovered in 1880--, they have to work harder, more collaboratively, and in more costly ways (ahem) to make relatively smaller discoveries. He quotes Samuel Arbeson's paper from an issue of last year's Scienometrics at length:

If you look back on history, you get the sense that scientific discovery used to be easy. Galileo rolled objects down slopes. Robert Hooke played with a spring to learn about elasticity; Isaac Newton poked around his own eye with a darning needle to understand color perception. It took creativity and knowledge to ask the right questions, but the experiments themselves could be almost trivial.

Today, if you want to make a discovery in physics, it helps to be part of a 10,000 member team that runs a multibillion dollar atom smasher. It takes ever more money, more effort, and more people to find out new things.

The "low hanging fruit" of the undiscovered country has been taken. We gotta start climbing trees, yall.