• Question: when talking to other scientist do you find new information, is it always good?

    Asked by funkychloe101 to Jamie, Jodie, Kat, Mark, Niamh on 23 Mar 2011 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Mark Hill

      Mark Hill answered on 21 Mar 2011:

      Hello Funkychloe,

      I generally welcome any information on a subject that I am either researching for a case, or studying. It is nice when the information from others supports your arguement, but if it doesn’t then I just have to put it into context and explain how my work and that of the other scientist may be different.

      Very rarely are two research studies almost identical in the way that they are carried out, or their scope. In addition, they would also be carried out at different times and dates. So it is often possible to review other works and state how the research conditions were slightly different and may account for different results. In science we cannot just simply ignore other works, just because they don’t agree with our own. Furthermore, if my research results don’t produce a positive outcome, or support a hypothesis, it is important that I comment on them as such. t is this trust in scientists that is so important.

      Thank you for your question.


    • Photo: Jamie Pringle

      Jamie Pringle answered on 21 Mar 2011:

      Hello funkychloe101,

      Yes indeed, collaboration between different colleagues and discussing problems between like-minded scientists is really productive – often they can see the obvious solution to a problem that you may have missed.

      A lot of my research is quite a pplied – and my more forensic search colleagues will use this information to help them solve cases, like the recent finds on an Irish beach for some of the IRA Disappeared for example.

    • Photo: Niamh Nic Daeid

      Niamh Nic Daeid answered on 21 Mar 2011:

      Hi Chloe

      A good question. Working with other scientists in either your own field of a different field can often help solve a problem you may be having difficulty with. I do a lot of collaborative research with scientists from a wide background and that type of team work is always works really well because you can bounce ideas off each other.

      For example I’m sure that Mark will have a far better understanding of some aspects of vehicles than I would have which would be very helpful in looking at causes of car fires. In many cases of applied research or work many heads thinking about the problem are almost always better than one !

    • Photo: Katherine Davies

      Katherine Davies answered on 23 Mar 2011:


      I am always asking questions of fellow entomologists, and try to find out as much as I can to broaden my knowledge. But yes there is good and bad points, usually the bad being that they are working on something I am, and I wanted to publish it first! Usually its good though, and very helpful in the work I am doing.