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Scientists’ investigations are influenced by their communities

Key ideas

  • Scientists are members of both science communities and everyday communities. The questions they ask and the answers they seek are usually related to what is important to their communities.
  • Science communities may form through a common field of research, collaborative research projects or simply through a shared work space.
  • Everyday communities are created through a shared interested, for example health or conservation concerns.

Teacher reflection

  • Can a scientist be completely impartial? Why or why not?
  • What communities might influence scientists and how?
  • Is it inappropriate for a scientist to be influenced by community groups? Why or why not?
  • Should scientists be free to choose their area of research, or should they be forced to work in a particular area because that is where the need is seen to be greatest? Why?