The Wisdom of Crowds

Chapter 8: Science

So basically the main points of my presentation were as follows:

The SARS case helped the world realize how important collaboration is for scientists. The SARS case involved the top scientists from top countries in the world all working together within their collective groups but also collaborating across the world to their fellow scientists.

Quotes on page 162:

Collaboration guarantees a diversity of perspective. There are two quotes that signify the imporance of collaboration in this section.

  • “Scientists who collaborate with each other are more productive often times producing better science, then are individual investigators.” (When working together you will have better results because you are getting all different sides of an argument.)
  • “The most prolific man is also by far the most collaborating.” When seeing different points of view you will almost become smarter, you are opening yourself to seeing things in different ways.
  • “Scientific knowledge is somewhat cumulative.” every scientist takes the work of one and builds upon it. So even when a scientist is doing work alone, he is still in fact remaining within the basis of the Wisdom of Crowds because he is still using another’s information.
  • The book points out that the world of scientists is fascinating because no one is in charge (pg. 165) “we trust that allowing individuals to pursue their own self-interest will produce collectively better results than dictating orders.”

An issue within the world of scientists is that they are constantly fighting for recognition and attention within their field.

“Scientists are fundamentally competing for recognition and attention, that recognition and attention can only be afforded them by the very people they’re competing against (pg. 166).

This helps to increase originality amongst them because they all want recognition for the next best thing so they are constantly searching for it, which in turn actually betters our world because new things are being discovered every day.

– “You can’t listen and read everyone, so you only listen to the best,” however as stated earlier in this chapter scientific work is never done alone its always done with the wisdom of others so this could be why recognition is so fought for in this field, because it is extremely hard to come by.

  • pg. 167 The conflict between business and science is a challenge that many corporations have put on scientists. “The fact that public funding is still instrumental to science, and particularly to basic research, insulates scientists to some extent from commercial pressures.” Scientists need funding to continue on with their work but this also leads to pressures from these commercial entities onto the scientists.
  • The “Spectacle of companies funding studies and then demanding that they be suppressed when the results do not come back to their satisfaction,” created the conflict between science and business (pg. 168).

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