Science has been evolving during many years. Perhaps, today a few people involved in Research and Development would like to be as Leonardo Da Vinci, but they know that it is impossible.
For many centuries, scientists were philosophers and physicians. They have knowledge about mathematics, physics and chemistry. They dominated arts and have a global vision of the world.
Later universities born, but their initial objective was teaching the universal knowledge. Then, science could not advance without two important innovations: scientific method, and specialism.
Nowadays, the world is more complex. Nobody could acquire the whole knowledge of the mankind. This is the result of these two innovations in science.
Today, people think that the intellectual is the artist. If a scientist or engineer cannot compare himself with Leonardo why can a painter do it? Probably the main reason is that Leonardo has been overcome by any engineer, but he cannot be overcome by any painter. We can see many flying machines on the air, but we can only see a Gioconda.
This can be an effect of the former advance, the scientific method. When we establish a method to do the right things, we could think that there is no room for creativity. Researchers know this is not correct because research and innovation are supported by a huge amount of creativity. A prototype must be replicable but can be as original as the Gioconda.
The latter advance, the specialism, has produced the real difference between an artist and a scientist. An art work, in general, is made by a person, but an innovation project needs the participation of a group of people.
A more complex world demands a new Da Vinci. Today it is impossible to innovate if we do not integrate knowledge from a lot of areas. It is a common error moving a feel of wisdom from a research area to another, because it is only an illusion, but a man with Da Vinci’s spirit could impulse the innovation process. That is the reason because the character of the innovation manager has arisen in the last decades.
If there is a similar profile to Leonardo Da Vinci, this is not the scientist but the innovation manager because he has a general knowledge of the innovation actions. As Leonardo the innovation manager has knowledge about a lot of things, and probably, as Da Vinci, he cannot design a plane that can fly. But, in justice, although he cannot produce an art work without a group of artists, he is as necessary as the conductor of an orchestra.