01/07/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Is Einstein The Last Great Genius?

Major breakthroughs in science have historically been the province of individuals, not institutes. Galileo and Copernicus, Edison and Einstein, toiling away in lonely labs or pondering the cosmos in private studies.

But in recent decades - especially since the Soviet success in launching the Sputnik satellite in 1957 - the trend has been to create massive institutions that foster more collaboration and garner big chunks of funding.

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