More recently, however, a more sweeping collaborative trend has begun to emerge; increasingly, there have been meaningful contributions to quantum mechanics that have come not just from particle physicists, nor even just from physicists: the tool box has been enlarged. The work of W.H. Zurek on the relationship between quantum mechanics and classical mechanics, for instance, has been informed by such diverse fields of science as Shannon-Weaver information theory, mathematical game theory, and even Darwinian evolutionary biology. "Pure" mathematics has contributions to make too, of course; much of the heavy-lifting in General Relativity (for example) is done by differential geometry, which was originally conceived in the purely theoretical setting of a mathematics department.
Philosophy too has been included in this interdisciplinary surge. The particular tools of the philosopher—the precise nature of which we shall examine in some detail in the coming sections—are well-suited to assist in the exploration of problems at the frontiers of human knowledge, and this has not gone unappreciated in the rest of the sciences. Gone are the days when most physicists shared the perspective apocryphally attributed to Richard Feynman, viz., "Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds." There are real conceptual problems at the heart of (say) quantum mechanics, and while the sort of scientifically-uninformed speculation that seems to have dominated Feynman's conception of philosophy is perhaps of little use to working scientists, the interdisciplinary turn in academia has begun to make it safe for the careful philosopher of science to swim along the lively reef of physical inquiry with the physicist, biologist, and chemist. Science is about collaboration, and
- See Zurek (2002), Zurek (2003), and Zurek (2004), respectively.