• Question: does you research help with other scientist research

    Asked by janatore to Jarv, John, Ken, Vicky on 21 Mar 2012.
    • Photo: John Prytherch

      John Prytherch answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Yes definitely. I think this is the case for most scientists. Science generally moves forward in lots of little steps, with scientists all contributing their own little bit of knowledge or discovery to our overall understanding of something. Even when their is what seems like a big leap forward, it is usually based on the cumulative efforts of lots of different scientists before.

      Isaac Newton, one of the greatest scientists ever, had a great quote about this when talking about his own achievements. He said he was ‘standing on the shoulders of giants’, by which he meant he wouldn’t have been able to make the discoveries and conclusions he did without the earlier work of many other people.

    • Photo: Vicky Young

      Vicky Young answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Absolutely! As John was saying – all research is important and helps other scientists.

      When we do an experiment and it works we can publish the results for other scientists to see. The other scientists can be inspired by the results and maybe even use the results as a basis for some new research. It can also guide other research by suggesting what chemicals to use etc.

      Even if your experiment doesn’t work you can publish the results and show that the result you were expecting didn’t happen. This can also help other scientists who might have the same idea from going down that path. It might also raise more questions and spark more research in the area!

      Its a giant collaboration across the world in this sense!

    • Photo: Jarvist Moore Frost

      Jarvist Moore Frost answered on 21 Mar 2012:

      Absolutely, this is mainly what scientists do.

      You’re just adding an extra piece to the puzzle most of the time.

      It’s really nice when you’ve written up some of the work you’ve done in a paper, and then you get it published, then over the next few years you can see other people’s work and papers which reference yours, building on your work and using it to help their science.

    • Photo: Ken Dutton-Regester

      Ken Dutton-Regester answered on 22 Mar 2012:

      To add to the above fantastic responses- sometimes the research you do can impact in other fields of research in ways you would never expect. A good example of this taken from someone I know- someone developed a method for monitoring the growth of cells in a plate. My friend adapted the technology to determine the effect of a drug on worms!! In this sense, if they didnt like the drug, they wiggled more!