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"I think we could solve our problems more easily through strength of character; but that's always been a commodity in extremely short supply."
- Gregory Benford

Spark Plug (Systematician)  
  A person who draws information from diverse areas of knowledge.  

"Adjani is our Spark Plug - and the best in the business."

Spence looked at the slim Adjani with new respect. A Spark Plug , as they were called, was a member of an elite group of men and women so gifted as to be completely expert in numerous fields of study - as many as five or six. Whereas most scientists and theoreticians were specialists, training their professional vision to ever narrower bands of the scientific spectrum, those like Adjani - and there were very few of them - worked in reverse, enlarging the scope of their knowledge wider and wider...

Most often they were employed as systematicians - men who could view the overall course of a project and draw valuable information from other areas of study and bring it to bear upon a particular problem. They acted as catalysts of creativity - spark plugs - providing those quick, dynamic bursts of creative insight for projects that had grown too complex to rely on the accidental cross-pollinization of ideas from other disciplines.

From Dream Thief, by Stephen Lawhead.
Published by Not known in 1983
Additional resources -

See also these specialists:

  • House Records Archivist
    A specialist who correlated information within the House Records of the Bene Gesserit.
    (From Heretics of Dune [1984] by Frank  Herbert)
  • Mnemonic Service
    Dedicated humans who collected bits of data in hopes of catching key correlations between fields of study.
    (From Sucker Bait [1954] by Isaac  Asimov)
  • Synthesist
    A person who did nothing but make cross-references between one field and another.
    (From Stand on Zanzibar [1968] by John  Brunner)
  • Nexialist
    A person with a coordinative knowledge across a variety of sciences.
    (From Voyage of the Space Beagle [1950] by A.E.  van Vogt)

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Dream Thief
  More Ideas and Technology by Stephen Lawhead
  Tech news articles related to Dream Thief
  Tech news articles related to works by Stephen Lawhead

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