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The scientific community consists of the total body of scientists, its relationships and interactions. It is normally divided into "sub-communities" each working on a particular field within science (for example there is a robotics community within the field of computer science). Objectivity is expected to be achieved by a result of use of the scientific method and discussion and contradictory debate inside the community.
Membership, status and interactions
"Membership" of the community is generally, but not exclusively, a function of education, employment status, and institutional affiliation. Status within the community is largely a function of publication record. Sociologists who have studied scientific communities have often found that gender, race, and class can be strong factors for an accepted entrance into the community.
Members of the same community do not need to work together. Communication between the members is established by disseminating research work and hypotheses through articles in peer reviewed journals, or by attending conferences where new research is presented and ideas exchanged and discussed. There are also many informal methods of communication of scientific work and results as well. And many in a coherent community may actually not communicate all of their work with one another, for various professional reasons.
References and external articles
- Sociologies of science
- Bruno Latour and Steve Woolgar, "Laboratory life: the social construction of scientific facts". Beverly Hills : Sage Publications, 1979.
- Sharon Traweek, "Beamtimes and lifetimes: the world of high energy physicists". Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988.
- Steven Shapin and Simon Schaffer, Leviathan and the air-pump: Hobbes, Boyle, and the experimental life". Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1985).
- History and philosophy of science
- Other articles
- Peter M. Haas. "Introduction: epistemic communities and international policy coordination". International Organization, v. 46, n. 1, winter 1992, pp. 1-35. (PDF)
- "Producing Communities’ as a Theoretical Challenge; Social order in scientific communities". TASA 2001 Conference, The University of Sydney, 13-15 December 2001. (PDF)
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