• Question: do you use a lot of other peoples work to help yours or is it all independent

    Asked by anon-201659 to Sophia, Sarah, Meirin, George, Emily, Andy on 13 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: George Fulton

      George Fulton answered on 13 Mar 2019:

      Science is very collaborative. You definitely need to research what people have already done to make sure you aren’t discovering something that has already been solved! That would be a waste of time and money 🙂

      Sometimes scientists keep their results a secret if they are especially interesting though, but as my work is carried out under a government funded project, all my work is accessible by the public.

    • Photo: Andy Buckley

      Andy Buckley answered on 13 Mar 2019:

      Oh, lots of others. In the big picture we’re building on decades. But for sure, in the short term we hang on to good ideas and see if we can turn them into impactful papers on our own within a year or so. Once that’s public, it’s open season though, and everyone can jump aboard. As a system it’s a pretty good mix of incentives to work and to share

    • Photo: Sophia Pells

      Sophia Pells answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      All of my work is a massive collaboration because it requires skills from lots of different areas of science. I just applied to give a talk at a conference and you have to submit a little summary of what
      you’re going to talk about and give all the people that have contributed to it and mine had 30 people listed as contributors to the work!

    • Photo: Sarah O'Sullivan

      Sarah O'Sullivan answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      While there’s not too much published about my specific topic, there’s loads of stuff in similar topics and things that I rely on to help me form answers about my own work. Plus I’m part of a research group so I’m always using their knowledge to help understand the wider field better

    • Photo: Meirin Oan Evans

      Meirin Oan Evans answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      I HAVE TO use lots of other people’s work, I’d be lost without them! There are about 3000 scientists part of my experiment. Though I might never get to know them, each and every one of those scientists has done something to help my work. This might include better understanding a tiny part of our particle detector, but such increased understanding will help me achieve a more precise result or measurement. A lot of big science experiments are carried out by these huge collaborations of people nowadays.
      Of course, there are times you just have to get on with your own work, but for sure it won’t be long before you need someone else’s help!