We have inherited from our forefathers the keen longing for unified, all-embracing knowledge. (…) But the spread, both in width and depth, of the multifarious branches of knowledge by during the last hundred of years has confronted us with a queer dilemma. We feel clearly that we are only now beginning to acquire reliable material for welding together the sum total of all that is known into a whole; but, on the other hand, it has become next to impossible for a single mind fully to command more than a small specialized portion of it. I can see no other escape from this dilemma (lest our true who aim be lost for ever) than that some of us should venture to embark on a synthesis of facts and theories, albeit with second-hand and incomplete knowledge of some of them and at the risk of making fools of ourselves.

So much for my apology.

Erwin Schrödinger in What is life?