Many excellent researchers in science and engineering will challenge disciplinary boundaries and confound expectations. Other more traditional and conservative researchers may be no less excellent or creative. Academic communities tend to retain traditional customs and governing structures. These researchers can do profound and important work, opening new horizons for their colleagues, without going beyond the limits of their disciplines.
The electronic tools of communications and computing enhance both innovative and traditional practices in research. But they may favor the innovators, by making it easier to work across boundaries and to ignore the rules. The community of researchers will be forced to examine those boundaries and rules increasingly as digital tools grow more powerful and pervasive. The community is certain to be strengthened by this radical review of its foundations.