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Omnidisciplinary Scientist

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"Do you know how many degrees I have?!"

Related to the nerd and the Mad Scientist, the Omnidisciplinary Scientist is a master of every branch of science, regardless of the branch in which they theoretically have a degree. A writer either didn't do the research or didn't want to. If someone is a scientist, and something about science needs to be known, the scientist will know it or learn it by the end of the episode.

Films are particularly bad about this. It's understandable that a producer needs to reduce the number of named characters, so anything "scientific" is handled by the existing "science guy" character. However, it strains Willing Suspension of Disbelief when the guy who was just working on the nuclear reactor turns around and is suddenly a xenobiologist, chemist, alien technology expert and computer programmer as well.

Then again, maybe the character really is just that smart, running around with superheroes and aliens and unbelievable circumstances of all descriptions, it certainly wouldn't be the strangest thing going on in that fictional universe.

Any of The Professor, The Spock, the Mad Scientist, Mr. Fixit and the Genius Bruiser may be an Omnidisciplinary Scientist. The Science Hero tends to be one in practice. The medical variant is the Super Doc.

Compare to the Renaissance Man who is also very knowledgeable in multiple fields — but not necessarily all of them. Some of these fields may be arts such as painting, or literature. May possess Encyclopaedic Knowledge if their interests stray outside of science.

Note also that the "plausibility" of this trope is context-dependent. If a story presupposes an immortal character, for example, that character might well have had time to master many disciplines of study (though perhaps not to be up on the latest developments in all areas). Likewise, a non-human mind might be capable of anything, or a future/alien technology might enable learning by means other than the hard way, or the character has Super-Intelligence as a power. Or, like the Doctor, all of the above.

This is part of the Hollywood Science belief that big things are made by a single "scientist" (sometimes with a bunch of useless assistants). In reality, this usually isn't the case — most developments are incremental and made through the collaboration of many people who each have special knowledge of one small part of the problem. Of course, there are exceptions which make it a bit of Truth in Television. This is also common with people who take knowledge as a hobby, trying to get as much information as possible instead of specializing in a single discipline (and as gadgeteers usually also encompass being engineers at the same time). And of course, learning how to learn is also a part of academia, so a scientist would likely be able to research a new topic quicker than a non-scientist.

Geniuses Have Multiple PhDs is often an attempt to justify a character's wide range of expertise, especially if the doctorates are in different fields, though it tends to raise questions about how they were able to become a top scientist if they spent all that time in grad school.

See also Super Doc for the medical version of this. In works of fiction, a doctor is almost always a hybrid between a medical doctor and something else (in the case of omniscience, everything else). In real life, a doctor is a physician with a doctorate of medicine (M.D.), or a Ph.D in any field, regardless of being a practitioner of medicine or not. And it should be stressed that a Ph.D is generally going to have the same fundamental core competencies (at least in theory) for their given field, but beyond that, most of their knowledge, skills, and abilities is limited to whatever was the subject of their dissertation. Generally speaking, any scientist can probably do basic statistical data analysis. But a dedicated statistician (even if he isn't a practicing scientist per se) is whom you would call for the important jobs where you really need an expert on the numbers.

The legal counterpart is an Omnidisciplinary Lawyer.

Used as one of the most common excuses to let The Main Characters Do Everything.

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    Anime & Manga 
  • Professor Desty Nova in Battle Angel Alita mastered every practical and theoretical science up to and including nanotechnology before inventing "karmatron dynamics". Which he also makes great progress in.
  • Dr. Black Jack may be an Omnispecies Omnidisciplinary Doctor: he can perform surgeries and autopsies and deliver babies. And transplant horse brains into humans. And stitch together a child using her parasite twin body parts and plastic. He had even performed surgery on a dog, a whale, a ghost, a computer, an alien, and himself. And in that last case, not only did he perform abdominal surgery on himself to remove a parasite, he did so in the middle of the Australian outback, all by himself, while simultaneously fighting off dingoes. In addition to all of the former, he fights crime.
    • This is a pretty common trope in stories by Osamu Tezuka. In his original Metropolis manga, Duke Red not only creates an army of robots, but also a machine that makes artificial sunspots & other weirdness, although he does have to turn to a specialist to get a proper Artificial Human. Most of the numerous scientist characters in Astro Boy are omnidisciplinary to some degree. Ochanomizu, whose main background is in robotics, also comes up with inventions like a bomb that flash-freezes everything for miles around & even a device that can read minds (although considering he's the head of the Ministry of Science he may have had some help with these). Astro's creator Dr. Tenma is said to be an expert in both Artificial Intelligence & the Human brain, which handily explains why Astro has such a lifelike personality, as Dr. Tenma could draw on his knowledge of neurology to create a computer system that emulates the Human nervous system.
  • Urahara Kisuke from Bleach is canonically the most intelligent person in the story, and as a scientist he can do basically anything. He has been shown creating medicinal serums and pills, constructing interdimensional gateways, building and using unique computers, and his greatest invention is an Artifact of Doom of seemingly limitless potential. His expertise even extends into physical sciences, such as developing unique physical training methods, understanding particle physics enough to negate attacks, and creating unique weapons and armor to combat specific opponents. Also, since magic and science overlap, Kisuke is a capable spell-caster and has created his own unique spells, too.
  • Watari from Descendants of Darkness is unbelievably proficient with hacking and decryption, involved in maintaining the computer-based reality where the series' summoned gods live, and good enough at chemistry for potion-based Mad Science, and he's alluded to having had done other things. His PhD? In Mechanical Engineering.
  • In Dinosaur King, Dr. Z spends a lot of his time working with machinery and biological modifications despite being a paleontologist. Notably most of his devices and inventions are defective or are prone to explode, but it is played straighter with the Ancients, who are also palaeontologists, but have little trouble building a time machine or a device to detect powerful stones from the beginning of time, something even an advanced race of aliens couldn't manage.
  • Senku from Dr. STONE has shown himself to be well versed in the fields of physics, engineering, agriculture, astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, and numerous other fields despite being a high school student. When he finds himself in a world with a stone age technology level, he manages to catch them up to roughly industrial revolution level in a little over a year. However, it is subverted in some aspects, as he admits that while his academic knowledge of many subjects is top notch, his ability to actually put it to use is heavily limited. As an example, he's capable of using chemistry to create glass, but completely incapable of actually making anything useful out of the substance until he convinces an experienced craftsman to do it for him.
  • In Endride, Pascal, Joseph, and Rodney seem to dabble in mechanical engineering, biology, and chemistry among other things.
  • Many of the "Meights" in The Five Star Stories, scientists who create either Humongous Mecha "Mortar Headds" or Artificial Human "Fatimas" & in rare cases both, are skilled in other fields as well. This is justified by the fact that they are, like the other super-people in FSS, descended from genetically engineered superhumans. While Headliners get Super-Strength & Divers get Psychic Powers, Meights get super intelligence.
  • Dr. Shiba from Kotetsu Jeeg. Not only he was an accomplished archaeologist but also he could cure people, make cyborgs, build a Humongous Mecha and flying ships, and transferring his mind from his dying corpse to a computer.
  • Mariel from Lyrical Nanoha is originally introduced as a precision engineer, though StrikerS reveals that she's also acts as the Nakajima sisters' primary care physician. This is actually one of many bits of foreshadowing that the Nakajimas are cyborgs. Their check ups are her fine tuning their mechanical implants (something well within her area of expertise), with the medical portion of the visit handled by actual doctors.
  • Mazinger Z features a villainous example: Big Bad Mad Scientist Dr. Hell routinely designed and build Humongous Mecha, complex computing systems, giant flying ships, submarines, all kind of weapons and devices (including a size-changing ray in one episode), cyborgs... He would need being an expert on any field of science to achieve all those scientific breakthroughs and perform all those feats, including physics, engineering, mathematics, robotics, computing science, cybernetics, and medicine. In contrast, Dr. Kabuto and Professor Yumi subverted the trope, being experts on one field and needing help or expert advice in other areas, and using the trial-and-error method to make breakthroughs.
    • Professor Kenzo Kabuto from the sequel Great Mazinger was also a subversion, right like his father Juzo Kabuto.
    • On the other hand, Dr. Umon from UFO Robo Grendizer played it straight.
  • Ritsuko Akagi from Neon Genesis Evangelion. She supervises Nerv HQ's science department and seems to be an expert in everything Project E requires (biology, metaphysical biology, engineering, ordnance...), along with computing, physics, and medical science. Ritsuko is the show's go-to for "voice of expositional scientific and technical authority".
  • Dr. Vegapunk of One Piece is described as studying everything from cells to battleships and he came up with many of the technological advances used by the Marines. The guy is a One-Man Industrial Revolution. If it's a field that involves science, he's studied it, and except for ship building, pioneered it. He wrote the book on Devil Fruits, figured out what they are, how they work on humans and how to feed them to inanimate objects, studied the sea's energies to create various purposes and coating from seastone, created at least two dragons, is the leading expert on cybernetics, and found the blueprints of life itself, alongside his former partner Vinsmoke Judge. Pretty good for a formerly unseen character who just set out to bring summer to his home island.
  • Sgt. Frog: Kululu, who's a qualified doctor and curry chef on top of everything else.
  • Washu in Tenchi Muyo!. In most of the Alternate Continuities she, like the Doctor, is old enough that it's justified. For the original OVA, her having knowledge about everything in existence is helped by the fact that she personally had a hand in creating everything in existence...though she's intentionally restricted her memory of that since being omniscient is apparently boring.
  • Vandread:
    • Subverted with Duelo. He's a medical doctor, so when the crew needs to repair the ship's engine, he admits that he would be of little help. Despite this, his way of thinking about the ship as if it were actually a living organism gives him the idea of creating a power bypass. How exactly he's able to wire the bypass is anyone's guess.
    • Another case with Duelo: despite being a doctor, he was trained on a planet with no women at all and is completely ignorant of female anatomy, so he's at a loss when one of the women on the ship becomes pregnant, and diagnoses her with an "abdominal parasite".

    Comic Strips 
  • Oliver Wendell Holmes of Bloom County is primarily a computer nerd. But he also loves astronomy, and has, among other things, worked on a Grand Unification Theory, built an A-bomb, cloned a dead character, created a light machine to give people instant very dark tans, and developed a hair growth tonic.
  • Nero: Adhemar, a 5-year-old boy genius has built numerous space rockets, a huge computer, wonder pills and even invented medicines for diseases that haven't been discovered yet!

    Fan Works 
  • The Child of Love: Ritsuko is capable to build and maintain bio-mechanical giant robots, cloning ancient alien life seeds, managing a super-computer... and is a physician, too.
  • Averted in Civilization V: Peace Walker, when Snake asks for Dr. Strangelove's help in digging Militaires Sans Frontiers out of the Stone Age.
    Snake: Hey, doc, can you whip up anything to help us?
    Strangelove: I'm a computer expert, AI developer and psychology major, Snake.
    Snake: Ah. So until we get electricity you know absolutely nothing of value to help us.
    Stangelove: The perils of an overspecialized education.
  • Child of the Storm mostly averts this, with each of the major scientists having their own areas of expertise — for instance, Jane Foster is widely regarded as the astrophysicist. While the likes of Tony Stark and Bruce Banner can border on this, being hyper-competent in multiple fields, they each have their own 'wheelhouse' and limitations. However, Long-Lived and immortal geniuses can qualify as this simply because they've been around long enough to learn.
    • Albus Dumbledore is the most 'normal' example, thanks to being a little over a century old, an off-the-scale brilliant wizard and alchemist (which is perhaps the most scientific magical discipline), and having corresponded with everyone from Charles Xavier (geneticist, psychologist and educator) to Ebenezar McCoy (expert in fundamental magic manipulation and treating magic as Fantastic Science) to Gorakhnath (multi-millennia old tulpa and expert on anything and everything to do with psychic energy and the Phoenix) on their expert subjects as a respected peer. He also worked extensively with Howard Stark in WWII and after. In fact, it'd be easier to list the genius characters he hasn't corresponded with academically. All while being a professional educator, equivalent to the Speaker in Britain's magical government, and a respected figure in international magical politics.
    • It's generally assumed that Loki has a strong grasp of whatever subject comes up because, usually, he does. Also, he's 1500 years old and The Smart Guy, and is treated as a subject matter expert on all matters magical and cosmic.
    • Doctor Strange blows all of the above out the water: ridiculously brilliant medical doctor capable of curing injuries beyond the physical, undisputed master of magic, and a musical genius whose talents are compared to Da Vinci and was a legendary bard as a mere hobby. He's more or less an expert on everything, though he concedes that in the case of the Phoenix, Gorakhnath is better informed than he is — though as Gorakhnath points out, he still knows more than he could teach anyone in a single lifetime. This is justified by the fact that he's a) off-the-charts brilliant, b) an immortal time-traveller who travelled throughout history to learn from the best and thus about 500,000 years old.
  • Apparently, Kiran, the protagonist in May The Future Be Bright: Kiran's Story has some advanced knowledge about medicine, optics, astronomy, chemistry and more. All this due to the fact he can replicate some inventions from Earth in the medieval world of Askr. They are rudimentary though. He also considers himself a "miserable amateur" in all those branches even if Sharena and Alfonse consider Kiran is the smartest hero of them all. Naga is also this and probably many other hero dragons, too.
  • Subverted for the many doctorate holders around SPEAR in the Heroes of the Storm fanfic Heroes of the Desk. Raynor finds this out when he asks two researchers if they know anything about submarine propulsion (hint: they don't). One does know something about the materials science involved, but that's it.
  • To Hell and Back (Arrowverse): Deliberately invoked by the League of Assassins when they were training Barry Allen; it's rare that a mind as brilliant as Barry's enters their ranks, so they crammed as much knowledge into his head as they could while also training him into a badass assassin. Becoming a speedster only made it easier for him to compartmentalize all that information and make use of it.
  • In If I Only Had A Heart, Izuku has accomplished feats of mechanical engineering, computer programming, chemistry, pharmacology, and neuroscience that would leave most real-world scientists stumped by the ripe old age of nine. This includes making a fully functional prosthetic arm, spinal reinforcements, darts filled with chemicals that spontaneously ignite, freeze, or electrocute anything they're injected into.
  • Averted in Let's Consider the Fallout when T'Challa brings Everett Ross to Shuri for healing. Shuri reminds him that she's an engineer who revolutionized Wakanda's mining industry; she knows nothing about surgery or the human body in general.
  • Perturabo in Remnant: It should come as no surprise that Perturabo, one of the most intellectually gifted Primarchs, is regarded as the greatest inventor, craftsman and builder Remnant has ever known. No field of knowledge is beyond his grasp and if one doesn't exist, then he'll create it.
  • In Neither a Bird nor a Plane, it's Deku!, Jor-El worked in biology, astrophysics, geology, architecture, technological development, and other myriad fields of science. He also laughs at the having learned nuclear physics when he was nine or ten years old when human scientists like Hisashi devote their careers to it.
  • This is Solas' hat in the Skyhold Academy Yearbook series, and the specific reason he was hired to teach at the school. By bringing in one guy who could teach all of the necessary science classes, they were able to stretch the budget farther.
  • Averted in #standbylegion when Sam Wilson implies Stephen Strange could reverse engineer the Super Serum that made Captain America to cure dozens of diseases. Strange replies that he's a neurosurgeon, not a biomedical chemist.
  • Father Leo/Ultraman Lugeno from Ultraman Moedari is not only a Badass Preacher who memorized the Suma and the Bible, but also knows all sorts of sciences, even of the alien or timeinology sort. Lampshaded several times. Somewhat justified as he is a very old and learned ultraman.
  • Downplayed in The Web of The Spider-Man. Peter is a bright kid with a working knowledge of physics, chemistry, biology, machinery, and computer operations. However, he's not an expert in any of those fields (i.e. his friend Ned outdoes him in computer wizardry). He also has a preference for physics and engineering, but he enjoys tinkering with the chemistry set his mother left him, which he uses to produce his trademark webbing.
  • Averted in The Spider. Peter has working knowledge of multiple fields, particularly chemistry and engineering but has to go to other scientists for matters outside those fields. Other scientists are each shown to have their own specialties as well such as Sue Storm being a geneticist or Otto Octavius working on alternative energy sources.
  • The Resident Evil fanfic The Progenitor Chronicles has an aversion: the MC and Rebecca explicitly discuss how they both study biotechnology, but specialize in different areas. While Rebecca is definitely the main scientist in the story, she relies on the MC for the areas of bioengineering she doesn’t specialize in.
  • Zigzagged in If I Could Start Again]]; several of the scientists have far more specialties than they should but still run into things they don't specialize in. Bruce Banner is called in to look over Ava Starr's condition but lampshades that quantum mechancis are far from his areas of expertise and it'd take a lot of time and studying to help her.
  • The Secret World Of Alex Mack: George is a biochemist by trade, but has a solid grasp of materials science and inorganic chemistry as well, and is perfectly capable of developing several plastics with revolutionary properties in his garage. Granted, he has the money and connections for a much nicer setup than that of your average Bungling Inventor, but still...
    • Subverted when it comes to the HWAAA. The brains on the project have the right degrees to work in hazardous waste management in theory, but a cursory examination of their published works shows that they aren't quite the people you'd want.

    Films — Animation 
  • In Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, this is played with in Batwoman as she appears to be a brilliant martial artist who also invented miraculous gadgets and is a skilled and experienced computer hacker. It turns out it is three different women, using one costume, who each bring their own skills to the table.
  • Doctor Cockroach from Monsters vs. Aliens is an expert in all things mechanical, and knows enough about biology to turn himself into a stable roach-man. Also, his Ph.D is in DANCE!
  • Defied in Treasure Planet with a dose of I'm a Doctor, Not a Placeholder. Captain Amelia is wounded, and becoming delirious from the blood loss, but Dr. Doppler can't do anything because he's not a medical doctor.
    Jim: You gotta do something!
    Doppler: Dang it, Jim! I'm an astronomer, not a doctor! I mean I am a doctor, but I'm not that kind of doctor! I have a doctorate, but it's not the same thing! You can't help people with a doctorate, you just sit there and you're useless!
  • Yellow Submarine. Jeremy Hillary Boob (AKA the Nowhere Man) claims to be a physicist, botanist, and dentist. He also easily fixes the title ships engine, making him an engineer as well.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension: In the mold of Doc Savage, Buckaroo Banzai is a neurosurgeon, particle physicist and rock star, among other things.
  • In Avatar, Grace Augustine is the foremost expert on Pandoran botany, but she also appears to be an anthropologist. And a xenolinguist. And a schoolteacher. Possibly justified: in canon, the CEO is presented as dismissive toward science, monofocused on the avatar project and consequent acquisition of mining rights, and antagonistic toward Augustine herself; she and her small team may be doing All The Science because she doesn't have the funding, or the staff, to do otherwise.
  • Dr. Emmett "Doc" Brown from the Back to the Future trilogy built a time machine in his garage in 1985 and another steam-powered time machine by 1895. In the third movie, he explicitly says that he's "a student of all sciences". Granted, 20th century education would appear as such to a 19th century perspective. It was his job as a scientist.
  • Lucius Fox in The Dark Knight Trilogy. He's the engineer who devises the technology that Batman's gadgets are based on, he also knows enough about toxicology to synthesize an antidote to Scarecrow's fear toxin, and he is also adept at running a Fortune 500 company. Granted, that last one's not a science, but it's definitely a refined skill.
  • Any scientist from a 1950s atomic horror movie. The Deadly Mantis in particular hangs a lampshade on this by suggesting that all paleontologists (like its protagonist) must be omnidisciplinary, because the field requires so much speculation from trace evidence.
  • Defied in The Fly (1986). Dr. Seth Brundle explicitly explains to Veronica that with regards to his matter-transporting "telepods", most of the technical apparatus is stuff he himself doesn't understand, designed by colleagues he says are far more brilliant than himself and only assembled by him. He later explains his initial difficulty with transporting organic matter as being a result of his inexperience in biology. His own fields seem to be mathematics and programming.
  • Doctor Morbius from Forbidden Planet is a philologist, but by the time the movie takes place, has constructed a sophisticated home to live in and built an impossibly complex robot, as well as able to analyze and use alien technology. He HAD been enhanced by an alien machine making him into a genius.
  • Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny: Downplayed in the prologue. Dr. Voller tells a Nazi officer his brief glimpse of the metalwork on the Holy Lance in their possession leads him to suspect it's a modern forgery, while admitting that his field of expertise is physics. This is intercut with the titular archaeologist finding it and reaching the same conclusion.
  • There's a fun little independent Indiana Jones knockoff called The Librarian: Quest for the Spear, with Kelly Hu as The Dragon, whose protagonist is a thirty-two year old not-a-virgin who lives with his mother and has a combined total of something like twenty-two degrees. Somewhat justified in that part of the reason he's such a total social outcast is that he's forty-something and has spent more than half his life doing nothing but studying for those degrees. In the sequel, he meets a hot female archaeologist who beats him in the number of degrees.
    • In fact, the plot of the first film is kicked off when he's booted out of the university, where he'd gladly spend the rest of his days studying, so that he'd get some Real Life experience. He's immediately recruited into the Library. Through all three films, he continuously displays encyclopedia knowledge about almost any subject, often quoting some textbook or encyclopedia entry verbatim. This gets lampshaded in the third film, when a Mook notes that he speaks in paragraphs.
  • Averted in The Man from Earth. John is intelligent, but not abnormally so. He claims to have collected ten advanced degrees over his extended lifetime, but he freely points out that no one can maintain current knowledge in that many fields at once. His 19th century biology degree is pretty useless now.
  • Marvel Cinematic Universe:
    • Tony Stark, weapons designer, is able to build Powered Armor and clean, cheap, small energy, in a cave, with a box of scraps, in the first film. In the second, he makes a new element in the space of a few hours, once he has the basic idea. This is despite Civil War showing his dossier, where his only academic credential is listed as a bachelor's degree in general engineering. Presumably, if he had a whole afternoon he could create a perpetual motion machine. Lampshaded in The Avengers:
      Maria Hill: And when did you become an expert in thermonuclear astrophysics?
      Tony Stark: Last night.
    • Ivan Vanko was able to do the same, in Siberia, minus the new element. He also hacks computers in seconds (Hammer, US government, and S.H.I.E.L.D. tech), and is a nuclear physicist. If we believe Vanko, Hammer's software is "shit".
    • Also the captive doctor Yinsen, who manages to build an electromagnet and implant it into Tony's chest. The concept is somewhat simple, but to make a precise and effective one for the exact purpose in the movie, would require something of an expert in electrical engineering. And as any doctor will tell you, there isn't really enough time in your life to get a medical degree as well as expert knowledge in other nearly completely unrelated fields. He admits to seeing the kind of wound Tony has several times in his home village and as a result has had practice in treating it, somehow.
    • Justin Hammer claims to be this, but most of his tech doesn't work. To his credit, his mundane tech (namely, modern weaponry) does work as advertised. The man simply has no talent for innovation and his attempts at more advanced weaponry tend to be unreliable at best, as demonstrated by his "Ex-Wife" mini-missile.
      Hammer: For the record, the pilot survived.
    • Lampshaded in Thor, where Dr. Donald Blake, Jane's ex-boyfriend, was a medical doctor. When Selvig tries to get Thor out of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s clutches by passing him off as Blake, Coulson (correctly) points out that "Dr. Donald Blake" is an MD, not a physicist, to with Selvig hastily adds that he "switched majors".
    • Averted in Avengers: Age of Ultron. Stark is able to create the Ultron AI and later, The Vision. However, he does need Bruce Banner's help for the second, explicitly stating that Banner is definitively the top expert on molecular biology, and the actual body of the Vision android was already created by Helen Cho.
    • Howard Stark might actually have his son beat in this respect. On top of being a munitions expert and engineer, he's also skilled in chemistry (he built chemical weapons in Agent Carter), applied physics (Arc Reactor), theoretical physics (discovered the molecular structure of a new element) and biology (he remains the only person to successfully recreate Erskine's serum). This on top of running a company and a spy organization, as well as being "the best civilian pilot [Peggy Carter's] ever seen". At least Tony restricts himself to engineering, robotics, computers, and physics — though he casually builds a particle accelerator in his house in Iron Man 2 and synthesizes a whole new element (albeit one that Howard had discovered), correct flawed genetic engineering that he dismisses as botany in Iron Man 3 and masters nanotechnology by Infinity War. His crowning achievement, though, comes in Endgame where he fairly quickly figures out how to build a time machine. In general, it's made clear that he's actually smarter than Howard, but he's both more focused (in terms of scientific discipline) and, pre Iron Man, less focused (in terms of personal discipline). After his Character Development, he starts becoming more of this trope.
    • Bruce Banner is a cellular biologist who, while hiding in Brazil in The Incredible Hulk, pays bills by fixing machines in a factory and builds himself his own lab in his apartment with spare parts. In The Avengers he is treating sick people in Calcutta. He is also stated to be the world's top expert in gamma radiation, and Tony Stark compliments him on his research in anti-electron collisions. If he's not an engineer/medical doctor/physicist, he's at least good enough to pass as all of them. Thor: Ragnarok finally clarifies it: he's a septidesciplinary scientist, having seven PhDs. None of which are in flying alien spacecraft. Furthermore, in Avengers: Endgame, he laughs at the idea that he'd be able to build a time machine. When Tony refuses to help, Bruce does his best, but just ends up aging Scott backwards and forwards. It's not until Tony agrees to help that the plan actually has a chance of working.
    • Shuri from Black Panther (2018) continues this tradition. She builds devices that can force engines to stall, bullet-proof armor that compacts into a small tribal necklace, magnetic suspension trains, communicators that work across the entire planet without any latency, shoes that completely negate all sound, and repairs Ross's spine while she's at it. In Avengers: Infinity War, she also criticizes Bruce's and Tony's work on Vision, pointing out how the Mind Stone could've been connected more efficiently. (Note also that Shuri is still a teenager, meaning she mastered all these disciplines in substantially less time than any of the other MCU geniuses.)
  • Professor Eggstrom ("The Egg"), the team's science wizard from Megaforce, is said to have "more degrees than a red-hot thermometer."
  • Averted in Nutty Professor II: The Klumps, where Sherman goes to meet his fiancée's parents for the first time. She mentions that they're "rocket scientists". However, they make it clear they have absolutely no understanding of genetics, asking Sherman to explain what he's working on in "layman's terms".
  • Dr. Elizabeth Shaw from Prometheus was originally an archaeologist focused on the theory of Ancient Astronauts. In the film she leads a survey mission on an alien planet and then later fronts an autopsy on a severed alien head.
  • In R.O.T.O.R., Coldyron's nephew is studying at the 'science department' of Oxford University.
  • Spider-Man Trilogy:
    • In Spider-Man, it is stated that Peter is taking an "Advanced Science" class. It is never described exactly what science they mean. This might be a Mythology Gag, as Peter infamously identified himself as a "science major" in his first comic book appearance.
    • In Spider-Man 2, Dr. Otto Octavius is, presumably, a nuclear physicist (he was working on thermonuclear fusion in the film), but also apparently has enough knowledge of robotics and neurology that he can, on a whim, assemble four robotic tentacles and hook them up to his own nervous system. Despite this being an incredible accomplishment in its own right (just imagine the sheer possible application of the tech), Octavius only saw it as a useful tool for his fusion experiments (giving him extra "hands" to operate the equipment instead of having to rely on less intelligent people who he wouldn't trust to not screw things up).
    • In Spider-Man 3, there's bit of Lampshade Hanging: Dr. Connors tells Peter that he is a physics professor and not a biologist, but still will try to study the symbiote. He then provides all the necessary exposition about it (in the comics, Mr. Fantastic took this role).
  • In Top Gun, the Kelly McGillis character who serves as a civilian instructor to the pilots is described as an "astrophysicist". Guess those hot-shot Navy fighter pilots have a really pressing need to learn all about stellar evolution. A case of Reality Is Unrealistic, Christine Fox really was this character in reality(minus the romance), but her actual academic background was mathematics.
  • Deliberately averted in Tremors; the seismologist grad-student is exasperated by people who think she can explain the sudden appearance of giant killer worms because she's a scientist.
    Val: What do you think it's doing, Rhonda?
    Rhonda: ...Why do you keep asking me?
  • X-Men: Days of Future Past:
    • Hank, per First Class, is not only an accomplished engineer but a skilled biologist. He's improved on the latter, as his serum now works as intended (more or less).
    • Trask seems to be a pioneer robotist, building robots that work in the 1970s, but he is also a skilled biologist, who can study mutants to the point of understanding how their powers work at the cellular level.

  • Subverted in the 1632 series. Any 20th century American with a high school education looks like one of these to a 17th century downtimer. But the real value is in technical knowledge and hands-on expertise.
  • In All Men of Genius (which is set in a Steampunk world), Illyria Academy seems to train this kind of scientist. All students study physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and reckoning (mathematics plus early computing).
  • The natural philosophers in Neal Stephenson's The Baroque Cycle, most of whom existed and fulfilled this trope in Real Life (especially Robert Hooke, who was involved in a mind-bogglingly large number of disciplines). The implausibility of this being possible once science has sufficiently matured is brought up: late in his life, Daniel laments that with so many new fields emerging, it is becoming impossible for any new natural philosopher to be an Omnidisciplinary Scientist.
  • Judge Holden of Blood Meridian seems to have a pretty good education in paleontology, biology, anthropology, sociology, and philosophy. He keeps all his notes on these various subjects in his ledger. Sociology and anthropology do rather go hand in hand. As with paleontology and biology. So he could have double-majored in anthropology and biology and minored in philosophy. In the Old West.
  • A Certain Magical Index has the Kiharas, a family of Mad Scientists who all fit this trope to some degree. A good example is Yuiitsu Kihara, who shows knowledge in fields as diverse as neurology, virology, robotics and magic.
  • The Crew of the Copper-Colored Cupids's Doctor Sigma officially specializes in dimensional engineering, but he's displayed Gadgeteer Genius abilities in general as the plot demands.
  • Ryeland Ames, from Jack Williamson's short story "The Dead Spot", is famous for having built a particle accelerator AND a bathysphere AND an artificial heart AND portable H-bombs; the first two of which before he was 25. Notice that the story was written in 1938.
  • Arthur Denison of Dinotopia appears to be mainly a naturalist, but he shows aptitude in other fields, at one point even inventing a mechanical dragonfly-plane.
  • Discworld:
  • Doc Savage: He was a physician, surgeon, scientist, adventurer, inventor, explorer, researcher, and a musician. Though his team is made up of experts in their fields, only occasionally is Doc himself not better than they are. He's a better chemist than Monk, a better mechanical engineer than Renny, a better electrical engineer than Long Tom, and a better geologist than Johnny. Ham is the only one he doesn't outdo on a regular basis, leaving anything requiring the practice of law in his hands.
  • Dracula's Dr. Van Helsing, who seems to know everything, including English law, even though he's Dutch. That would be the guy who signs his letters "Abraham Van Helsing, M.D., Ph.D., D.Litt., etc." Three doctorates in different fields, plus implied other qualifications. He has a law degree too! He drops a casual mention of it in one scene.
  • Dr. Halsey in the Halo Expanded Universe is a 200 IQ scientist with a knack for seemingly every discipline. In her teens she created a complex model predicting the collapse of humanity's interstellar colonies into civil war (sociologist). In her twenties she personally sketched designs for an advanced set of Powered Armor (engineer and roboticist). In the following years she recruited and trained numerous kidnapped children to indoctrinate them into soldiers (psychologist). Afterward she formulated the chemicals to physically augment them and performed the surgery herself (bio-chemist and surgeon). During the war against the Covenant she studied their weapons for reverse-engineering, their society for ways to subvert it, and the artifacts of the Forerunner species they worshipped (xenoarchaelogist). Then among her other accomplishments include cloning her own brain to create artificial intelligence, and creating designs for new starships made out of reverse-engineered Forerunner tech. Also she's not a bad artist.
  • In Heart of Steel, Alistair started out with a double major in biology and robotics, and somehow managed to expand from that to include biochemistry, genetics, computer science, and whatever else he thinks he will need for World Conquest.
  • H.I.V.E. Series:
    • Otto is trying to be one of these. Gifted with the ability to pretty much absorb books in minutes, he reads everything he can get his hands on, and has a working knowledge of most every subject. However, this is shown repeatedly to be nearly useless in practice, as reading about karate doesn't make you strong, etc.
    • Laura is simultaneously a Playful Hacker, Gadgeteer Genius, and The Medic.
    • While he specializes in computer and electrical engineering, Professor Pike also has a working knowledge of biochemistry and structural engineering.
  • Dr. W.E.B. Du Havel of Honor Harrington is primarily a political scientist, but is stated to hold a great many Ph.Ds in multiple other subjects, almost none of them honorary degrees.
  • In John Ringo and Travis S. Taylor's Into the Looking Glass series, there is William "Bill" Weaver, a scientist with multiple degrees and doctorates, which is part of why he became the chief astrogator for a submarine-turned-spaceship in the second book. Weaver is modeled on the real life Taylor (who wasn't involved in the first book).
  • Galam from the Kadingir series. He's the world's leading scientist in interdimensional technology, but he's also an accomplished inventor with proficient knowledge of biomechanics, aerophysics and patisserie; an all around Insufferable Genius that the story itself describes as "an expert in whatever may come in handy at the moment."
  • Downplayed but still notable in The Martian, in that astronaut turned reluctant Mars colonist Mark Watney is fully trained (to an unspecified but presumably quite high level) in the fields of plant biology and mechanical engineering, which is a somewhat unusual combination of subjects to say the least. (Though not an illogical one if you want to be an astronaut when you grow up.)
  • Dr. Goodwin, the protagonist of The Moon Pool is a renowned botanist, and yet he has no trouble jury-rigging a device to use moonlight to open an ancient door or figuring out and later reporting the workings of an atomic powered engine. From the same novel, minor antagonist Marakinoff also displays profound knowledge of botany, biology, engineering and physics.
  • Deliberately with Weston in Out of the Silent Planet. In the "Reply to Professor Haldane", Lewis himself notes the weak point that although "Weston, for the sake of the plot, has to be a physicist, his interests seem to be exclusively biological."
  • In John Ringo Paladin of Shadows series, Dr. Tolegen Arensky is a microbiologist with familiar with chemical weapons, and enough knowledge of nuclear weapons to preserve the effectiveness of a device. He also acts as the Kildar's medical doctor.
  • Isaac from Perdido Street Station is a justified example, as his omnidisciplinary approach to experimentation and research is why he's pointed out to Yagharek as someone who might be capable of tackling Yag's problem.
  • Sax Russell in the Kim Stanley Robinson's Red Mars Trilogy develops in this direction. He's assigned to the original colonization mission as a physicist, but over time (a lot of time, as the longevity treatments developed in the first book greatly extend his career) he picks up Ph.D.-level training in chemistry and biology in order to further his goal of terraforming Mars.
  • Sherlock Holmes's older brother Mycroft is described in this way; he works for the British government but frequently he is the British government
    Holmes: Mycroft draws four hundred and fifty pounds a year, remains a subordinate, has no ambitions of any kind, will receive neither honour nor title, but remains the most indispensable man in the country.
    Watson: But how?
    Holmes: Well, his position is unique. He has made it for himself. There has never been anything like it before, nor will be again. He has the tidiest and most orderly brain, with the greatest capacity for storing facts, of any man living. The same great powers which I have turned to the detection of crime he has used for this particular business. The conclusions of every department are passed to him, and he is the central exchange, the clearing-house, which makes out the balance. All other men are specialists, but his specialism is omniscience. We will suppose that a Minister needs information as to a point which involves the Navy, India, Canada and the bimetallic question; he could get his separate advices from various departments upon each, but only Mycroft can focus them all, and say off-hand how each factor would affect the other. They began by using him as a short-cut, a convenience; now he has made himself an essential. In that great brain of his everything is pigeon-holed, and can be handed out in an instant. Again and again his word has decided the national policy. He lives in it. He thinks of nothing else save when, as an intellectual exercise, he unbends if I call upon him and ask him to advise me on one of my little problems. But Jupiter is descending to-day.

  • Fëanor in J. R. R. Tolkien's The Silmarillion. Not only he is an omnidisciplinary scientist, but an accomplished artist, skilled craftsman, innovator, statesman, leader, father of seven and warrior. Unfortunately what he has in intelligence, he sorely lacks in wisdom.
  • John Lowson in Guy N. Smith's The Slime Beast. He begins the story searching for King John's treasure and is referred to as an archaeologist, but relentlessly pursues and tries to capture and study the title monster, suggesting a biologist or zoologist.
  • In A Song of Ice and Fire, Maesters study to earn links of different metals, each metal representing a different discipline they've mastered sufficiently. To be a real maester you need enough links to form a chain you hang around your neck. Justified by the lower technology setting, and they still won't have links of every metal. Maester Luwin has a link of Valyrian steel that represents that he's studied magic, and notes that only one in a hundred maesters have such a link (mostly because they're also taught magic isn't real, so what's the point). This having been said, the leaders of the Maesters, the Archmaesters, are marked out by their deep mastery of one discipline — they'll have links around their neck of several metals, but they'll have a ring, rod and mask of one and only one metal.
  • Professor Augustus S. F. X. Van Dusen, Ph. D., LL. D., F. R. S., M. D., etc., dubbed as "The Thinking Machine" by his reporter friend Hutchison Hatch, is one of these.
  • In The Voyage of the Space Beagle, Elliott Grosvenor falls somewhere between this and The Spock. He isn't a master of every branch of science, but his training in nexialism (which he describes as "applied whole-ism") gives him a pretty good understanding of all the physical sciences.
  • Whateley Universe: While most scientists, Devisors, and Gadgeteers are specialists of some sort, there are a number of these, many of whom are Science Heroes (or Science Villains), such as Dr. Amazing, Dr. Helen Smart, several members of the Wilde and Havoc families, and a couple of the students on the in-universe television show Wiz Kids. Of the Whateley Academy student body we've seen, probably the one who comes closest is Belphegor, a multi-talented (if slothful and kleptomaniacal) scientist and engineer who by the time of the Gen 2 stories is a notable Science Villain. Jobe Wilkins probably could be this, but deliberately remains focused on biology and genetics, preferring to be the absolute best in one thing rather than a mere expert in several.

  • Carlos from Welcome to Night Vale is always simply described as "Carlos the Scientist", with no more specific field given. To date, Carlos has mentioned work that touches on theoretical and applied physics, mechanical and electrical engineering, organic and inorganic chemistry, plant/animal/microbial biology, ecology, medicine, geology, and seismology. Fanon usually attributes this either to Carlos being spokesperson for a team of scientists from different disciplines (it's confirmed in Ep. 30 that there are still others working with him), or to simply having to develop skills outside his original field of study as the only person in Night Vale who can think in a straight line. Lampsha- Subver- Played with in Episode 38, wherein Cecil asks him about a mysteriously-appearing orange grove.
    Carlos: I'll do my best to answer your questions, but do know that I don't specialize in botany or dendrology. I am a scientist. I study science.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Averted but discussed in Fringe Pro Wrestling, where Will White went to Jim Nye the science guy for therapy, who replied that he was a scientist, not a doctor.

  • The show "Ask Dr. Science" was about a man with a Master's Degree... in Science. His ideas were crazy. You actually can get a degree called "Master of Science" in some countries, but it must be in a subfield like Physics or Biology. You can't get a Master's of Science in Science.

    Tabletop Games 
  • d20 Modern does divide the sciences into multiple Knowledge skills. However, there are only four of them — behavioral sciences, earth and life sciences, physical sciences, and technology. Under this system, a geologist character will also be an expert on biology. Furthermore, it is easy for a Smart Hero to max out several of these skills and be a true Omnidisciplinary Scientist.
  • Eberron: Keith Baker suggests this as part of the setting's theme of making the player characters truly exceptional. Magic is a science, and the PC wizard busting out a dozen different spells from as many different schools is exactly as incredible as a real-life scientist revealing themselves to be an expert in biology, physics, and programming all at once. NPC wizards (even high level ones), on the other hand, should be limited to one or two schools, and most of their spells probably aren't suitable for combat anyway.
  • Exalted. If you have Lore and Occult, you can do Science. Probably justified in the case of older Exalts, who are hundreds or even thousands of years old and have thus had a lot of time to study. Every Exalt is a jack-of-all-trades with regard to any of the 25 abilities. And of the 25 abilities, Craft is more specialized and broken up into 5 mundane abilities plus several more esoteric ones. Within a Craft an Exalt can make anything it would apply to. Combine Lore and Occult with a Craft and you do Engineering.
  • Genius: The Transgression has the same broad categories as all New World of Darkness games, but Geniuses also have the explicit ability to apply their skills to related yet bizarrely inappropriate circumstances. If they learn to drive a car they can use those skills to guide a spaceship through re-entry. Then again, another of the abilities of a Genius is to spend Mania to intuitively understand technology. Given that "technology" is a very broad category, there's a high chance of overlap between those two skills.
  • GURPS, which in realistic games handles the various subdivisions of the sciences by means of an extensive (some say ridiculously expansive) skill list and rules for specialisation, allows omnidisciplinary scientists into cinematic games by means of the Science! skill. The exclamation point is key. By the game’s 4th edition, other such “wildcard” skills also featured.
  • Similarly, Spirit of the Century has a single Science skill, making it easier to have Weird and Mad Scientists. It's possible for a character to be specialized in a particular field, but this simply provides a bonus when working in that field; you can work outside this area no problem. A similar system exists in another FATE-based RPG, the RPG adaptation of Atomic Robo. The Science mode confers every kind of science at its base value, which is justified by the way skills are priced — any given scientific skill has only two applications, and since skills are worth (application -2) points, scientific fields are effectively free. Anyone with Science as their primary mode has a base +3 to everything from geology to quantum physics. Science-primary characters are, however, encouraged to specialise in something to a) differentiate them from every other science-focused character, and b) make it easier to beat the other characters in a Brainstorm, giving the opportunity to gloat.
  • The Mage: The Ascension gameline from the Old World of Darkness was rife with this, as skills on the character sheet came in broad categories such as "technology", "medicine", "science", "computers" and "academics", specialization optional. The reality-bending technomages on the side of the Nine Traditions could easily slip into this trope, especially the Sons of Ether who embodied the Mad Scientist and/or Mad Doctor trope to a T. Strangely, all the awakened super-scientists, engineers, spacepilots, pharmacologists, cybersurgeons and geneticists of the Technocracy were far more specialized and usually stuck to their field of expertise, despite the fact that the Technocracy was All About Science.
    • It may have had something to do with the fact that the Sons of Ether tended to be loners or at the very least disorganized and thus were encouraged to be at least decent in a little of everything, while the Technocracy is Also All About Organization and had dedicated branches for specific needs.
    • Technically, a storyteller is instructed to require a relevant specialty to build, repair, or analyze something (e.g. to fix a car engine you could justify with craft spec "cars", science spec "engine design", etc). This is why specialties are relatively cheap and bought separately from the skill ranks. This was rarely ENFORCED for mages because the paradigm system usually meant that they could usually declare whatever specialty they had relevant (e.g. take crafts/pastries and the paradigm "everything is secretly a cake". BAM, now your skill focus lets you fix the car, because you see the moist, sugary goodness beneath the lie of spark plugs and pistons.)
    • The Technocracy is explicitly an inversion of the trope. They don't stick to specialties because that's how real science works: real science has various specializations requiring different education and resources because the Technocracy intentionally made it work that way to keep human imagination under control. The omnidisciplinary version is how it "really" works when they're not hobbling it for everyone.
  • Maid RPG. In the replay "Maids at the End of the World", the Master is Masami Onji, a scholarly genius who is greatly knowledgeable about every field imaginable.
  • In the Planescape campaign, the now-deceased Factol Hashkar of the Guvners was a Sage with dozens of areas of expertise due to his centuries of research. When adapted to modern terms, he would have been considered a genius in alchemy, biology, several disciplines in art, geology, agriculture, politics, sociology, history, physics, philosophy, magic, law, metaphysics, medicine, and cartography. (Of course, using the game rules, most normal NPCs — let alone PCs — would be unable to have nearly that many skills, but Haskar was not a normal NPC by any means.
  • Rifts and other Palladium Books games have this trope in spades. In the case of the original Rifts book, there's the Rogue Scientist, who can grab any and all science skills in the book. The CAF Scientist in Phaseworld is similar, though he does get to pick one science at a slightly higher bonus as his specialization (as in, his specialization is in one entire scientific field). Heroes Unlimited has other examples, but as the point of that game is to make comic book style superheroes, it's likely done on purpose in that case.
  • Since in Rocket Age Science is a skill that covers everything from physics to biology every scientist is the setting is assumed to be this, though they can and do specialise.
  • Dr Meredith Stinson/Tachyon in Sentinels of the Multiverse is good at basically every field of science. A mixture of natural genius, Super-Speed, and effectively unlimited research funding, mean that if she wants to get into some scientific field, she can, leading to her list of achievements including advances in rocketry, medicine, particle physics, chemistry, military engineering, and punching everyone in a quite large area virtually simultaneously (it's a surprisingly useful skill when your cousin has an evil magic mask that gives her control over birds).
  • Any character with Science skill in the current edition of the World of Darkness is this by default, as there's only one "Science" skill, just as there's only one "Academics" skill. Even the specialties are extremely broad, such as "Physics" or "Chemistry."

  • One of the major motivations of Goethe's Faust is that he is such an omnidisciplinary expert. He's mastered all the sciences of his time and found such grand knowledge unsatisfying, so he takes up magic and demonology and makes his infamous pact with Mephistopheles to carry him beyond mere science. Though as explained in the Real Life section, far enough back in history one man could know all the scientific knowledge there was at that point.
  • From the works of Gilbert and Sullivan:
    • A pseudoscientific example is the "very small prophet" from The Sorcerer, who is an expert:
      In demonology,
      Mystic nosology,
      Spirit philology,
      High-class astrology,
      Such is his knowledge, he
      Isn't the man to require an apology!
    • He is no scientist, but Major-General Stanley from The Pirates of Penzance can tell you anything in any one of a number of fields of knowledge except for the practical details of anything military post-1800. Oops!
    • A more in-depth analysis of General Stanley's claims show that they are pretty much all either ludicrously simple or outright fabrications.
  • Horatio, being a scholar, is entreated by Bernardo and Marcellus to talk to a ghost in Hamlet. It doesn't work. The ghost may be offended.

    Visual Novels 
  • Averted in Double Homework with Dr. Mosely/Zeta. Her one and only focus is on psychology.

    Web Comics 
  • The Adventures of Dr. McNinja:
    • Though Doctor McNinja doesn't show knowledge of every field — mostly just medicine and ninjutsu — he turns out to be a doctor in almost everything. In "Army of One", it was revealed that he's a master of all forms of science... because back in his college days, he had himself cloned dozens of times over, and sent the clone McNinjas out to different universities around the world. By the time they recombined, adding all of their accumulated experience and knowledge together, he had earned a legitimate doctorate in every single science... except agricultural science, because that particular clone wasn't able to return. This is unlike the usual case in that usually the scientists show proficiency in any field without explanation, but Dr. McNinja has the explanation but doesn't show his abilities much. From the FAQ (link):
      Q: What kind of doctor is he anyway? That's a PhD on his wall. The sign in front of his office says he's a physician. In the one comic he's doing dental work on a patient, and then says he's a podiatrist!
      A: Ninjas are mysterious in their ways. Way mysterious.
    • One scene shows the Doctor with a wall of diplomas.
  • Doctor H.M. Phage, T.E from Awful Hospital has described himself as the "chief physician, radiologist, surgeon, pathologist, pathogen, immunologist, urologist, gynaecologist, reverse gynaecologist, taxidermist, dentist, forensic entomologist, necrobiological reconstructionist, herbalist, fashionist and twin-core husk intersector licensed in all chromatic, material and hypothetical perception zones." Of course, he later reveals that he peer reviews his own papers, so he probably gave himself all his diplomas.
    Dr. H.M. Phage, T. E : Fine, fine. We'll check on it, since you know so much better than I do all the sudden. I'm ONLY the head practitioner around here, with the single most esteemed medical certificate I've ever invented, but what do I know, right?
  • Since he is supposed to be the same Van Helsing that appears in Dracula, Dr. Van Helsing in Bram & Vlad is this.
    Marie: Watchmaker, doctor, philosopher, part-time inventor... Say, Doctor Van Helsing, is there something you don't know?
    Van Helsing: Y-You mean in general, or withing the range of human knowledge?
    • Bram is a budding one. Word of God states that his four monographs are on theology, on cognitive psychology, on philosophy and on literature.
  • Casey and Andy dabble in any and every field to cause disasters; quantum physics, chemistry, engineering, medicine, you name it. They can build things that can do anything you wish, as long as you specify it with a descriptive name that ends with "-O-Mat". ("Can you build a Bio-Signature-Tracker-O-Mat?") They've created death rays, explosives, genengineered world-eaters, wood-fueled submarines, spacecraft, planck adjusters, wolverine claws, and started a massive fire with only jello and pineapple chunks.
  • Drive (Dave Kellett): Nosh, the science officer of the Machito.
  • Dr. Nonami: Both Nonami and Mechano specialize in robotics, but also are extremely proficient in all other areas of science.
  • Girl Genius:
    • The lesser Sparks seem mostly confined to one field (although they're "Reed Richards on speed" in that field), but the stronger ones can basically do whatever they want.
    • Gil has built flying machines, extremely powerful electric generators, a combat-capable robot to practice fencing with, and his own biological servant construct (plus repaired two others). His primary field appears to be medicine and biology, which is why he's the go-to guy when they need a doctor.
    • Klaus has made plenty of his own inventions, but he is most famous for understanding how things work, dismantling and reverse-engineering the devices of other Sparks and improving them. Since his entire empire is based simply on conquering anyone who attacks him, this has given him a massive technology base to use. On a more mundane note, this ability is implied to be behind his talent to "find the right monster for the right job."
    • Agatha's primary field is mechanical, and her breakthrough device was a tractor with legs sent to retrieve someone. Her most famous creations are the dingbots, pocket-watch sized clanks that build more of themselves and help her with her work. However, she has also been shown to have skill in every other field, from electricity to guns to cooking. Her primary weakness seems to be medicine; she has a reasonable amount of skill for a normal person, but for a Spark she's strictly amateur.
    • One character is a mad social scientist, who gets annoyed that the engineering ones steal all the funding. "I told the Baron, give me a thousand orphans, a hedge maze, and enough cheese—"
    • Tarvek is mostly seen doing mechanical engineering, but he also displays analytical abilities shadowing those of Klaus. He is also fascinated with the miraculous muses, and even manages to create a new one, something no one else has been able to do for over two hundred years. This seems to be a combination of his analytic abilities and the fact that the muses were built for his ancestor, and thus him.
  • Molly in The Inexplicable Adventures of Bob! seems to approach all branches of knowledge holistically, and possesses an incalculably vast grasp of astrophysics, engineering, biology, literature, drama, philosophy, comic book trivia, cartoons, nursery rhymes... and yet still comes across as a bit of a ditz with very little common sense.
    • In an aversion, however, it has been lampshaded a couple of times that Jean Poule is strictly a biologist, and although she thinks space travel is amazingly coolnote , physics problems stump her pretty quickly.
  • Laura Drake from Jenny and the Multiverse describes herself as a physicist, but she's also been shown to moonlight as an engineer, having created the Bubblecopter.
  • Dr. Shark from The Non-Adventures of Wonderella. It's established that he used to teach tenth grade biology and accidentally turned himself into a shark while doing research with shark stem cells, but he's also able to build robots and just about any other bizarre device the plot needs. Parodied in this strip, where he adds astronomy to his list of accomplishments.
    Wonderella: What exactly are you a doctor of, anyway?
    Dr. Shark: Oh, who remembers anymore?
  • Schlock Mercenary:
    • Kevyn, "resident Mad Scientist", delivers a tirade about how ridiculous this archetype is. However, between his sheer smarts (he doesn't have any actual degrees, as he's so smart he gets bored after learning entire three-to-six-year disciplines in a few months and leaves) and his hobbies, he still fits the role.
    • This trope is later subverted again in the same comic, when the crew encounter an unknown life-form, and the captain asks both Kevyn and the ship's doctor for their "professional opinion." Neither one helps.
    • At one point, Kevyn is trapped on a deserted planet and tries to start a fire. He doesn't know a single thing about doing so, but manages to rediscover it from first principles. When he accidentally sets the forest on fire, he doesn't know which way to run because he doesn't know how the winds will affect it.
      Kevyn: Any kid who plays with matches learns this stuff. Too bad I was playing with shaped charges instead.
    • Later, Tagon's Toughs has acquired a specialist on A.I. and robotics, who calls Kevyn "an arrogant generalist" on first meeting him. They eventually reach a balance, as Kevyn has more practical experience than the average scientist, and helps the newbie wrap her brain around concepts like "the value of field testing".
    • As the strip went on, he did start to display some noticeable blind spots — most significantly the biosciences. At one point he proved to know so little about anatomy that he needed to have it explained to him that the human leg does not contain anything called a "tibula".
      Ebbirnoth: All I remember from school is some taxonomy rules, pressure points on a few of the more threatening species of sophont, and how to crib someone else's research.
      Kevyn: That's more than I've got.
      Ebby: So, "the xenobiologist we need right now" is the one-eyed king in the land of the blind?
  • Sluggy Freelance:
    • Riff doesn't have any degree that we know of, but he's somehow able to create giant robots, psychotropic drugs, dimensional portals, and twinkie-based weapons of ultimate destruction. If there's a branch of science that can cause mass destruction, Riff's a master of it.
    • The strip also has Doctor Schlock, who has figured out how to clone aliens, travel through time, control nanobot swarms, and make inflatable versions of anything. In his first strip alone he attempted to test a vaccine, "air pills" that would delay someone from drowning, and slightly radioactive mascara on Bun-Bun (and that was just his "present-day" self).
  • In Star Mares, Gracenote (a not-even-a-scientist court bard) is tasked with finding a way of cleaning up after the Smooze, and of releasing Princess Celestia, Princess Cadance, and Rainbow Dash from crystal petrification. She also picked up a smattering of codebreaking from listening to her friend Wind Whistler talk to robots. To be fair, her methodology for all these tasks involves acoustics, which is both her field of training and her cutie-mark power — and to be fairer, nearly all of her efforts were either total failures or were being secretly influenced by nefarious forces.
  • Herr Doctor Glassner in Trying Human used to be rocket physicist, but all he does on page is Playing with Syringes and Alien Autopsy stuff. Granted, he it the scientist of Area 51, but still.
  • White Dark Life: Caroline is, if her bio is to be believed, responsible for improving about every known appliance by 76%, prototyped a medical robot, somehow ended up running a production of boyfriend robots, and was eligible for multiple awards but never achieved any.

    Web Original 
  • Noriko Null from Beyond the Impossible. She builds robots, fusion reactors, flying supersonic motorbikes, fixes the world economy and cures AIDS. In her spare time she fights the Greek gods with science.
  • The Journal Entries have several of them, particularly Ken Shardik. Justified in that most of the characters are functionally immortal and so have time to acquire any skill set they desire. Ken is the oldest living being in the known universe, and had to do rather a lot of stuff on his own (there being nobody else for a long time).
  • Averted and discussed in The Lay of Paul Twister. Paul would definitely like to give radio to the Romans, as it were, but being a modern American geek, he knows a lot of trivia about "how things work" on a lot of subjects, but very little in the way of actual details. He ends up having to find a way to get a bunch of skilled craftsmen, engineers and researchers to fill in the blanks in his attempts to get technological progress rolling.

    Web Videos 
  • In Atop the Fourth Wall's review of Spider-Man's "Planet of the Symbiotes" arc, he notes a sign advertising a "Science Expo" and comments on how in Comic Book World, "Science" seems to be a single discipline.
  • Doctor Steel's Ph.D is never elaborated on (according to him, he is a "doctor of reality engineering"), but he's "displayed" skills in engineering, mathematics, biology, medicine, chemistry... baking (well, not so much)...
  • Bulma's vague scientific discipline is given a lampshade in Dragon Ball Z Abridged, as Krillin picks up an unconscious Android 18 saying he plans to take her to a doctor... or a mechanic... "A Bulma. I'm taking her to a Bulma."
    • Also lampshaded in episode 13. When Goku needs a spaceship, he heads to Bulma's dad, a man known for fitting things inside small capsules.
    Roshi: Ok, but why Bulma's (house)?
    Goku: Well, I need a ship and Bulma's dad is a scientist.
    Roshi: I'm not even gonna begin to go into what is wrong with that.
  • The Spoony Experiment: Doctor Insano has "the power of science", which allows him to shoot lasers out of his hands. Presumably, all the other X-Sanos are equally gifted.

    Western Animation 
  • Similar to the Dexter example, Jimmy Neutron from The Adventures of Jimmy Neutron, Boy Genius has worked in innumerous areas of science, and it's harder to identify which ones he hasn't.
  • The Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes
    • The show has the standard examples of Tony Stark (engineer), Bruce Banner (gamma radiation expert), T'Challa (vibranium and Sufficiently Analysed Magic), Reed Richards (... everything), Doctor Doom (... also everything), and Hank Pym (Entomology and physics), who mix and match disciplines — Pym is a brilliant robotics expert, and Tony can with help synthesise a cure to a toxin he's never encountered before. However, each has particular areas of expertise and has to turn to one of the others for help.
    • The trope is lampshaded in Operation Galactic Storm when Tony watches Mar-Vell — a Xenobiologist and soldier — casually convert a Quinjet into a subspace capable ship, and upgrade its shields and all space suits for stuff close to the Sun, and wonders how on Earth he can do that. Mar-Vell awkwardly points out that by Kree standards, this stuff is really, really basic.
  • Doctor Krieger in Archer. He's primarily a mechanical engineer, although he's also been shown to dabble in artificial intelligence, medicine, biochemistry and genetics. However, it's implied that Krieger actually has no formal scientific education, for instance he believes in phrenology and humorism, and while he's clearly a genius it's often left up in the air how much he truly understands what he's doing half the time. He appears to be less this trope and more of a highly intuitive lunatic that Mallory funds and tolerates because he occasionally produces something useful.
  • An episode of Captain N: The Game Master had Dr. Light, normally an expert of robotics, performing medical duties on a very human patient. Makes you wonder why they didn't use the opportunity to promote the Dr. Mario game. Probably because it was one of the few episodes with no leanings toward comedy.
  • On Celebrity Deathmatch, "Stone Cold" Steve Austin is the Southern-Fried Genius equivalent of this Trope, able to use Bamboo Technology to invent almost anything, spanning several scientific disciplines and surpassing all of them. Among his inventions on the show was the Deathmatch Time Machine, two Humongous Mechas, an enlarging ray, and the Super Freaks, created via gene splicing.
  • The Man In The Yellow Hat from Curious George is consistently shown in many episodes to have a job as a scientist (what other job would someone qualified to care for a monkey have?), but what kind of scientist he is varies depending on what the plot demands. Different episodes have him as everything from a zoologist to a theoretical physicist. One episode even had him be an astronaut, though that episode did have another scientist refer to him as "the first normal guy to go into space," so he's not a career astronaut, but the space program did consider him qualified to go to space alone (before the scientists involved realized that a design oversight on the shuttle necessitated George going with him).
  • Elise from Dan Vs. is a government agent who's been involved in several top secret experiments. She's shown to be good at different fields of science such as chemistry, hacking, and robotics .
  • Dexter from Dexter's Laboratory has probably covered every scientific field there is thanks to his show essentially being a Sci-Fi cartoon. He appears to prefer robotics above all else though.
  • Dilbert: Dilbert has, on the show, designed exercise machines (one incorporating an experimental graviton generator), rockets, satellites, A.I.s, a rocket equipped with AI, and massive networked computer systems. His company has also produced everything from throat lozenges to rocket ships.
  • Exo Squad: Prof. Algernon is skilled in theoretical physics (discovering the Gravitational Focus Effect which "cannot be explained by normal physics"), numerous forms of engineering (building the GRAF Shield, upgrading Able Squad's E-Frames), and neuroscience (curing Dark Matter Syndrome). Also VR painting. However, when consulted on the subject of genetics, he is quick to point out that it isn't his field and can provide no assistance.
  • Family Guy's Stewie Griffin has mastered time travel, weather manipulation, robotics, cloning...and still isn't potty-trained. Oh yeah, he's also Leonardo da Vinci.
  • Professor Farnsworth from Futurama fills this role often enough. Particularly in the first movie with his quote.
    Hermes: Professor, can you wire my brain directly into the main Battle Net?
    Professor: I can wire anything into anything! I'm the Professor!
    • On a less Mad Scientist-y note, Recurring Extra Dr. Ben Beeler. He's introduced as a paleontologist but seems capable of anything else that necessitates a scientist. (He's named in reference to Futurama writer and producer Ken Keeler, who's a low-level Real Life example himself, having a PhD in Applied Mathematics and a Master's in Electrical Engineering.)
  • Godzilla: The Series: Drs. Nick Tatopolous was a radiobiologist (radiations' effects on living things) and Elsie Chapman is a paleontologist. Dr. Mendel Craven is established as a roboticist, but he's quite capable in computer programming, biochemistry, and engineering. All three share knowledge in various branches of chemistry, biology, and especially zoology. Elsie sort of lampshades it by mentioning Mendel having two PhDs in the first episode.
  • Gravity Falls:
    • Presumably, The Author of the Journals. His journals cover a wide variety of subjects, including (but not limited to) the anatomy and physiology of several animals, plants, and fungi, local history, folklore, and customs, creation and operation of several advanced devices, and even studies regarding the occult. Confirmed when he's finally introduced in the show proper. Stanford Pines is nothing less than a Renaissance Man, having dedicated himself to study anything as long as it is weird and unusual. He also designed and built a freaking interdimensional portal. According to himself, he has twelve PhD's, all of them presumably in different disciplines. Kinda far-fetched, but it does justify his seeming mastery of most scientific disciplines.
    • Also, Old Man McGucket. Though his specialty seems to be robotics, if his massive Gobblewonker robot is any indication, he appears to be quite the competent scientists in other fields. When it's finally revealed he was the Author's assistant, this is played straighter than ever. He worked with personal computers before working with Ford, helped build a goddamn interdimensional portal, and even created a memory erasing gun.
  • Lampshaded in an episode of The Incredible Hulk, where Bruce needs to give his cousin Jennifer a blood transfusion to save her life after she's injured in an explosion. While beginning the procedure, Bruce remarks that he took two years of pre-med in college, implying that he'd briefly considered becoming a medical doctor before switching his focus to nuclear physics.
  • Professor Membrane and Zim from Invader Zim. Zim is more of an inversion, as he's barely competent to highly incompetent in almost everything he does, it's just that he's (badly) using super-advanced technology. His own computer system has pointed out his lack of adroitness on a few occasions. He is a highly capable engineer, but even here he tends to shoot himself in the foot. Sometimes literally.
  • Invincible (2021):
    • The Mauler Twins are the Genius Bruiser clones of a Mad Scientist and the world's leading experts in tissue growth, DNA replication, neurology, as well as everything else related to cloning as well as (in the original comic, at least) being tied for second-smartest in the series when it came to any other field of study. The memory imprinting process they created is so perfect none of the clones can agree on which of them is the original.
    • Played for Laughs with Doc Seismic, a Mad Scientist who holds a doctorate in seismology despite holding multiple lesser degrees in the humanities rather than hard sciences.
  • Dr. Benton Quest, from Jonny Quest
    • Archeology: "Treasure of the Temple" (conducting research), "The Curse of Anubis" (called in as an expert)
    • Biology: "The Quetong Missile Mystery" (analyzing cause of fish death), ''Monster in the Monastery" (identifying a fake yeti scalp as antelope hide)
    • Chemistry: "Riddle of the Gold" (identifying the gold as fake)
    • Engineering: "The Fraudulent Volcano" (extinguisher bomb), "Pirates from Below" (underwater prober), "Shadow of the Condor" (mining filter)
    • Geology/Volcanology: "The Fraudulent Volcano" (called in as an expert)
    • Nuclear Energy/Physics: "The Invisible Monster" (destroying the creature), "The Robot Spy" (the Para Power Ray Gun), "Mystery of the Lizard Men" (laser research)
    • Marine biology: "Skull and Double Crossbones" (conducting research), "The Dreadful Doll" (conducting research)
    • Medicine: "Calcutta Adventure" (sent to analyze illness cause), "The Dreadful Doll" (developing a poison cure), "Turu the Terrible" (healing a wounded Indian)
    • Metallurgy: "Turu the Terrible" (knowledge of trinoxite)
    • Meteorology: "The Devil's Tower" (conducting research)
    • Paleontology: "Turu the Terrible" (identifying Turu as a pteranodon by sight)
    • If you want to include the various remakes in the 1990's, you can also add computer science, cryonics and the paranormal.
  • Kim Possible:
    • Subverted in "Attack of the Killer Bebes". Ron pleads with two kidnapped scientists to find some way to stop a gang of berserk robots, who explain they're both astrophysicists and know nothing of robotics.
    • Likewise subverted with Kim's rocket scientist father:
      Jim and Tim: The television's broken! Can't you do something?
      Mr. Dr. Possible: Well, I could put it in geosynchronous orbit, but I'm not sure how that would help.
    • Played straight with Doctor Drakken. While attended college (without graduating) specializing in physics and robotics, he became a Mad Scientist, which is an anything-goes doctrine. He dabbles in chemistry, mindswapping, radical geology and any number of other fields. His actual plans can be awful, but his science is quite brilliant, even if he steals a lot of his inventions. The series does seem to imply there's a difference between real science, which is specialised and predictable, and mad science, which can do anything but is likely to blow up in your face.
    • His arch-rival Professor Dementor seems to be more of a straight physicist, but that may be due more to his relative lack of screen time. Ironically, unlike the polymath Drakken, he is very competent and fairly successful, to the point that Drakken often steals from him (or at least tries to).
  • Mega Man (Ruby-Spears): Dr. Light and Dr. Wily are much more diverse compared to their robotics-only game counterparts. They've dabbled in mind control, shrink rays, weather manipulation, time travel, entering dreams and magic.
  • Several of Mighty Max's various Mad Scientist enemies can qualify. For example, Professor Zygote is supposedly an evolutionary biologist, but he also knows an awful lot about gene splicing, plus enough about engineering to have built himself a Devolution Device. Dr. Bob Scorpio also qualifies; his primary field of study seems to be some odd combination of entomology and nuclear physics, granting him both the ability to create mutant scorpions and the knowledge to make a nuclear bomb big enough to destroy all of Nevada.
  • Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur (2023): As the self-proclaimed "world's smartest thirteen-year-old", Lunella dips into virtually every field of science imaginable. Through her inventions and actions, she demonstrates in-depth understanding of everything from biology to particle physics to chemistry. She builds a fusion reactor as a "basic" addition to her homemade lab and is also a highly capable computer engineer.
  • The title characters of Phineas and Ferb have constructed everything from robots to spaceships to time machines, despite only being fourteen at most. The same goes for Mad Scientist Dr. Doofenshmirtz, who can create anything you can slap the "-inator" suffix on.
  • Judging by his inventions, Professor Utonium of The Powerpuff Girls (1998) is, at the minimum, an electrical engineer, a chemist, a biologist, and a theoretical physicist. He has a Nobel Prize in "Science".
  • The Real Ghostbusters: Egon Spengler is supposed to be a psychologist and parapsychologist. He is almost always a physicist (and paraphysicist) and mathematician as well. On top of that, depending on what the plot wants him to know, he's also a qualified engineer, microbiologist, evolutionary biologist, biochemist, chemist, entomologist, etc. And he still has time to be a mycologist in his spare time.
  • The titular Rick Sanchez of Rick and Morty is always the World's Smartest Man in any universe that he exists in (even ones that are considered dumb by Rick standards) and is capable of quickly learning any form of science that exists, having casually invented interdimensional travel, creating/destroying civilizations and building a spaceship with both planet-destroying firepower as well as an onboard AI intelligent enough to engineer peace treaties. It also takes him mere seconds to learn the mathematical system of a different species.
  • Rocky and Bullwinkle: Mr. Peabody may well be one of the greatest geniuses in fiction. Never mind that he's a master historian who built a Time Machine, various episodes show his expertise in chemistry, engineering, geography, mathematics, and biology, along with various other useful skills. He may even be skilled in alchemy, given how he was able to whip up something that made Leif Erikson's beard grow instantly. If there's a science where his knowledge falls short of an expert, it has yet to be revealed. The movie takes this trope even further, Mr. Peabody is now also an excellent athlete, mixologist, can play every musical instrument in the world and is a certified chiropractor.
  • In Science Court the first expert witness called to testify was usually a recurring character like Julie Bean whose scientific expertise changed every episode depending upon the subject matter. Professor Parsons however plays this trope completely straight as he claims to be an expert in every scientific field known to man.
  • The Secret Saturdays: The Secret Scientists are an aversion. Each member has a specific and well-established area of study (cryptozoology, UFOlogy, parapsychology, etc.), and though they have shown other fields of expertise, like mythology and robotics, it's usually due to the requirements of their field.
  • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power:
    • Entrapta excels at computer technology and engineering, but also has enough medical knowledge to build an enhanced exoskeleton for Hordak to help him compensate for his worsening medical condition. While collaborating with Hordak, she also increases her knowledge about interdimensional portals, which would require mastery of advanced physics.
    • Hordak has enough technical knowledge to establish a sophisticated industrial base in the Fright Zone and create increasingly effective battle robots, enough engineering and medical knowledge to maintain his cybernetic armor, and enough knowledge of advanced physics to build a device that could open an interdimensional portal.
  • On The Simpsons, Professor Frink has been everything from an astronomer to a physicist to an entomologist.
  • Also parodied on South Park: Stan's father, Randy, is a geologist by trade, but is called on by the Mayor to investigate all manner of odd happenings, since aside from crazy geneticist Dr. Mephesto, Randy Marsh is the only scientist living in the entire town. He even lampshades this to the mayor, that his field of study is strictly geology.
    • At least, early in the show; newer episodes show Randy working in an office full of other geologists, and other scientists have appeared in other episodes.
  • Spider-Man: The Animated Series partially solved this by lumping many of the scientific fields shown throughout the series (organic and inorganic chemistry, genetics, biology and biochem, radiobiology, and so on, mixed with a dash of Mad Science) into the pseudo-field of "neogenics", but then you've got people who do that all that and more. A noticeable example is Alistair Smythe, introduced as a robotics expert, used for building Spider-Slayers. He's later upgraded into a cyborg and somewhere along the way enters this trope, performing neogenic experiments for the bad guys.
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012) has this trope all over the place. Donatello is only 15, and yet clearly is quite knowledgeable in engineering, robotics, and computer programming — even when its in an alien language. He's also shown working in chemistry and biology. This might however be handwaved as a consequence of his mutant nature, as various human scientists tend to be more limited. Baxter Stockman is clearly more a robotics man than anything else, and Doctor Falco doesn't dabble in too much beyond biology (even if taken to odd extremes). Its also invoked by Leo regarding why the Kraang took April's father, claiming that its because "He's a scientist", only to be defied by April when she points out that her father's field of study (psychology) is completely irrelevant to what the Kraang are doing.
  • Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales: Mr. Whoopie seems to know everything, literally. While usually just acting as an advisor, he has, in various episodes, repaired electronics, used medical equipment, and performed classroom-style experiments in chemistry and biology.
  • Transformers: Animated: Professor Sumdac, a roboticist, spends most of the second season as Megatron's prisoner, being forced to help him construct a space-bridge from stolen Autobot schematics. He specifically mentions that this isn't his area of expertise, though he gets the hang of it eventually (having Megatron as his 'boss' probably encouraged him).
    "I don't know anything about space bridges, I don't claim to know anything about them, this is not even my area of expertise: I do servo mechanics, not teleportation."
  • In The Venture Bros., we get "super-science". Word of God says that the concept was created in response to this trope's ubiquity in the comic-book/animated television that the show mainly parodies. A super-scientist is a master of every scientific discipline, and capable of basically anything you might see in science fiction.
    • Jonas Venture Sr. was the most talented super-scientist ever, and is connected in some way to almost all technology seen in the show.
    • His son Rusty, a main character, is a flawed version — a Bungling Inventor who is incompetent in several fields. His lone talent seems to be in genetics/biology (still in the super-scientist range).
    • Jonas Venture, Jr. plays this a bit straighter, having received several doctorates (in a month). And in any case, he thus far appears to have stuck to various forms of machinery.
  • Walden, The Smart Guy, from Wow! Wow! Wubbzy!.

    Real Life 
  • Can, rarely, be an example of Truth in Television — if you go far enough back in history. This is the origin of the phrase Renaissance Man; during the Renaissance, most fields of science were sufficiently new and undeveloped that someone with above-average intelligence could be an expert in more than one or two. By Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's time, science had sufficiently diversified that this was no longer possible except in emerging fields; Goethe (an extreme case of genius) is thus sometimes called "the last man to know everything". Much the same is said of Henri Poincaré (died 1912) in mathematics. The Renaissance Man did also have to know what at the time was treated like science and was later found not to actually work — all manner of mysticism, in short, including alchemy, astrology, etc. He would generally treat magic as another science — it made as much sense as anything else at the time.
  • Leonardo da Vinci: Engineer, anatomist, architect, botanist, geologist, cartographer, mathematician and artist with, for-the-times, impressive levels of knowledge in aeronautics, astronomy, civil engineering, chemistry, geology, geometry, hydrodynamics, mechanical engineering, optics, physics, pyrotechnics and zoology.
  • Aristotle knew everything there was to know in his time. He proved the Earth was round, catalogued every known animal (along the way, he was the first to differentiate whales from fish), advanced all natural sciences, organized legal knowledge, and made art commentaries that are still quoted in colleges (particularly his problems with "Deus Machina" endings), and the list goes on... He wrote the book on every discipline of his time and made new advancements in almost every one of them. On the other hand, he also thought that women had fewer teeth than men (apparently he never thought to get some folks to open their mouths to him so he could, you know, count), and that they were also "immature," "deficient," "deformed" and even a bit "monstrous"; believed that slavery was A-OK because some people just deserved to be enslaved; that eels didn't reproduce, but were spontaneously generated from mudnote ; and that the Earth was the centre of the universe. Most of these were taken as being absolute truth well past the point where it was possible to conclusively disprove them, and some are still held today, albeit by the sort of folks that most people view as kooky weirdos.
  • Athanasius Kircher is another historical example, with Bunny-Ears Lawyer tendencies as well. Not only did he study geology, ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs ("decoding" occult meanings that probably weren't there), and microbiology (in his time a new science), he designed a "cat piano" played by making the cats squeal in pain.
  • While geared towards engineering rather than research, fields of bioengineering deal with applications of technology with respect to biological systems. This means that bioengineers have to be trained in various sciences pertaining to engineering (usually mechanical or electrical engineering, so various fields of physics) and biochemistry. This isn't nearly every discipline, but it is still a much broader range than most scientists and engineers tend to deal with.
    • The first two years of an undergrad degree in bioengineering can feel like they are spent trying to become one of these. Often it isn't until the third year that students actually start bringing all those different disciplines together. Some people say doing actual engineering is what graduate school is for.
    • Biomedical engineering is especially diverse, requiring knowledge of mechanical, electrical, and bioengineering, chemistry, biology, physics, computer programming, some post-calculus mathematics, statistics, and materials science. They even take some limited coursework in liability law. It is probably the closest thing to an omnidisciplinary scientist there is, and it is so by necessity.
  • Subverted in the case of the Wright brothers. You'd think that people who successfully developed powered flight would be something special and know about everything from engineering to physics to what have you. Wrong. No one on the Wright team had more than a high school education and the brothers themselves operated a bicycle shop. But the high school the Wrights attended was equivalent to a modern four-year college and Wilbur had intended to go to Princeton. Yet manufacturing bicycles is engineering. They also closely observed birds, developed wind tunnels, and made prototypes, so they developed flight following the scientific method.
  • Their rival, Samuel Pierpoint Langley, did play this trope straight. He was astronomer, physicist, inventor of the bolometer and aviation pioneer. He did not invent the aircraft, but he invented the aircraft catapult. All catapults used today on aircraft carriers are based on his design.
  • Jared Diamond's book Guns, Germs, and Steel is largely based on the fact that being a physiologist, geographer and a biologist (among other things) gave him a new viewpoint to anthropology and history. It should not be left unsaid that the majority of geographers, anthropologists, historians, and so forth think that "his work from Guns Germs and Steel to Collapse is a distorting disservice to the real historical record". The opinions of most scholars seem to range from "Diamond has pushed the argument too far" to a five-page editorial titled, quite simply, "F**k Jared Diamond." The consensus appears to be that, at best, Jared Diamond's work might be helpful for popularizing non-racist explanations of topics that have typically been a hotbed for racist discussion (i.e. explaining the industrialization and global dominance of Europe in terms that don't boil down to "white people are inherently superior"), but he's still not factually correct about a lot of the things he's saying.
  • The specialization of scientists nowadays is in fact somewhat of a problem which many universities now try to fix by recommending interdisciplinary studies.
  • Al-Jazari (copied from the other wiki) was a "Muslim polymath: a scholar, inventor, mechanical engineer, craftsman, artist, mathematician and astronomer". Though he is most famous for his engineering feats. He invented robots. He was also one of the first pioneers of, you guessed it, algebra.
  • Michael Faraday is essentially a founding figure in chemistry, physics, and any discipline involving electricity. He discovered benzene (paving the way for practically all organic chemistry since), invented an early type of Bunsen burner, formulated and demonstrated the principle of electric induction (effectively inventing the electric generator), and invented the electric motor. His work also laid the ground for field theory in physics.
  • Debating a topic for long enough requires arguing from any POV or angles (scientific, metaphysical, cultural, economic, political..); this naturally leads to multidisciplinary understanding and comprehension, but not mastery.
  • Thomas Jefferson: botanist, architect, philosopher, inventor, engineer, statesman.
  • Benjamin Franklin: he was a leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, scientist, musician, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. He invented everything from Bifocals and a heater to lighting rods. On top of that, he wrote the book on electricity.
  • Jean-Paul Marat was a political theorist, a politician and a journalist, but also a physician, who dabbled in optical sciences (predicting the laser in one of his works) and curing illnesses like gonorrhea.
  • Isaac Asimov was the guy other Science Fiction authors would go to for information on stuff. When asked what it felt like to know everything, he responded that it felt "like being a museum."
  • Yeshayuha Leibowitz, Israeli intellectual and outspoken Orthodox Jew, also had doctorates in philosophy, medicine, chemistry and biochemistry.
  • Several well-known crackpots throughout history considered themselves to be masters of several fields of science at once — and, sometimes, their followers agreed with them. Wilhelm Reich, who created the notion of Orgone Energy, was trained in medicine and psychiatry; but his proponents also claim he was an expert chemist, biologist, nuclear physicist, and astronomer, because his theories brushed up against those subjects.
  • Astronauts. Typically they have at least one doctorate in one of the hard sciences — multiple doctorates are common — plus they are cross-trained in other disciplines, and they learn how to operate spaceships, work in zero gravity, and fix stuff that goes wrong.
  • Modern scientists
    • Many modern scientists are proficient computer programmers. They have a need for custom software and rarely have the funds to hire a pro. In many disciplines they also become very adept electronics technicians or mechanics as a result of building experimental equipment from scratch. Field biologists who collect live specimens can be alarmingly good shots with a rifle. Many chemists are (or at least, have been in the past) quite proficient glass blowers, due to the need to make custom equipment. Furthermore, while a given scientist may not have formal education in another field, most scientists are trained to think the same way, and typically as a consequence understand more about other fields than the average non-scientist. Physicists understanding quantum chemistry, chemists understanding molecular biology, etc.
    • Any scientist who does field work is often this. Geologist working in the Arctic? Skilled at cold weather survival, fixing engines, probably better at getting electronics to work in the cold than the engineer who designed them, and a decent shot with a rifle on top of it (polar bears). Marine biologist in the tropics? Skilled boat handler, mechanic, SCUBA diver, and likely has strong opinions about, and an impressive collection of, knives. Working in an isolated area to do something that maybe a dozen people in the world actually understand tends to do this.
  • Charles Pellegrino, co-author of The Killing Star and science consultant to James Cameron, describes himself as a "polymath". He's an expert in both the wreck of the Titanic, and the theoretical design of antimatter starships. (However, it appears his claims of having a Ph.D. from Victoria University may have been a fabrication.)
  • L. Ron Hubbard was an author whose scientific knowledge consisted of one nuclear physics class at which he failed. However, according to the Church of Scientology, he was a nuclear physicist, botanist, anthropologist, evolutionary biologist, archaeologist, psychologist, pilot, musician, photographer, cinematographer, philosopher and expert in at least one field that he himself invented.
  • Among many other achievements, retired NASA astronaut Story Musgrave holds five STEM degrees (two bachelor's, two master's, and a doctorate), specifically in mathematics,note  computer programming,note  chemistry,note  biophysics and physiology,note  and medicine, specializing in surgery.note  He was employed professionally as a mathematician for Kodak, an adjunct physiology professor for the University of Kentucky, a postdoctoral fellow for the National Heart Institute, a clinical surgeon for Denver General Hospital, and, as noted, an astronaut for NASA. He has written or been listed as a co-author of twenty five scientific papers in the areas of aerospace medicine and physiology, temperature regulation, exercise physiology, and clinical surgery, and one of his main hobbies is building microcomputers.
  • While a modern MD or DO does not have the depth of a PhD in their field, they must have a strong background in physics, chemistry (organic and inorganic), biology, anatomy, physiology, pharmacology, pathology, pathophysiology, psychology, a good clinical eye, strong interpersonal skills, microbiology, parasitology, and a decent understanding of biostatistics and medical jurisprudence. Most docs also train to read various imaging techniques and lab equipment, and some perform their own tests. This is before the physical skills for any procedures their specialty requires. Add a very strict code of ethics and the need to know their communities and how to address health needs at a local level as well; being multilingual is very valuable to most docs. Additionally, fulfilling their oath requires being a teacher to medical students and residents and an advocate to their community, requiring another skill set for education. Finally, doctors in private practice have to be astute business managers. Then the MD/PhDs and MD/JDs come around, adding a medical degree to another doctorate.
  • Good software developers are expected to be Omnidisciplinary Computer Scientists. That is to say they should be able to work with any programming language or tool even if it's not one they have any experience or training with. This isn't as unreasonable as it may seem, as the expectation is less that a programmer know everything as that they will be able to pick up the new language or tool quickly enough to still be useful. Most programming concepts carry over from language to language, so while a developer may have to learn new syntax and libraries for a new language the basics of *how* to program should carry over well. As to knowing new tools, tools and technology change so rapidly that developers have to pick up new ones all the time, It would take too long to wait around for people to be certified in every new tool you want, so many companies just hire someone who's competent, give him internet access, and tell him to figure out how to work with the new tool.