• Question: How many scientists do you interact with daily?

    Asked by Jana to Alex, Ana, Clay, Keegan, Mark on 29 Apr 2016.
    • Photo: Alexander Taylor

      Alexander Taylor answered on 29 Apr 2016:

      Depends on the day! Some days, I work in the laboratory by myself, and don’t interact with many scientists outside those working in my lab with me. On other days, I go to discussion groups or hear scientists present their research, and those days I might interact with a few dozen scientists from my University. When I go to scientific conferences, I might interact with hundreds of scientists from around the world.

    • Photo: Mark Ritchie

      Mark Ritchie answered on 29 Apr 2016:

      On a daily basis, I usually interact with a handful of scientists face to face and another half dozen via email or skype. In a month I probably interact face to face with 15-20 different scientists and with about the same number of a different set of scientists online. Like Alexander mentioned, at meetings we interact with a lot more than that – that’s why going to meetings is so important. Collaborating with other scientists is more important for success every year, because the pressure for each scientists to specialize and become really good at one or two things is pretty strong, so it takes multiple scientists to solve a problem.

      For example, I work with different teams in my research – on my Serengeti team besides me there is a plant biologist who is great at determining the genetics of plants and an ecologist who specializes in measuring soil fungi. There are other scientists at Serengeti that I work with less frequently who are good at counting animals or radio-tracking lions and other large predators, and still others that are good at analyzing data from satellites. When we put our heads together, we get a much better picture of what is going on than we would ever achieve by ourselves.

    • Photo: Ana Páez Garcia

      Ana Páez Garcia answered on 2 May 2016:

      Every day I interact with the people in the lab I work, they are 6. I also talk a lot with other 6 or 7, because some of them are my friends and I have lunch with some others. But today for example, I am in the internal seminars that we have every Monday, and there are more than 100 scientists of different areas all together here in an interactive session.

    • Photo: Clay Robinson

      Clay Robinson answered on 3 May 2016:

      That depends upon the day, and has throughout my career.
      As a professor, I interacted with many students, and a few other professors who were scientists. Occasionally I would visit a research station and visit with several scientists working on areas of common interest.
      When I go to meetings where scientists gather to present their research, I may talk with as many as 50 to 100 people in a day, and the meetings last 2 to 4 days.
      When I was a consultant, I worked with two other scientists most of the time, and only occasionally talked with others.
      As the education manager in charge of developing and coordinating continuing education materials, some weeks I will talk with 20 to 40 other scientists, while other weeks, I talk with only a couple, and only have email communication.

    • Photo: Keegan Cooke

      Keegan Cooke answered on 3 May 2016:

      My wife is a scientist, so definitely at least one. I’d say about 5-10 on any given day.