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The Scientific Ecosystem

Although I agree with many of the brutal observations that Elie Shneour finds so deplorable yet essential to articulate ["Of Semantics And The Scientist Population: Are There Too Many Of Us?" The Scientist, Sept. 18, 1995, page 12], I must take issue with his arbitrary division of investigators into scientists and technicians. His vision of the scientist as a mystical individual with sweeping knowledge encompassing all of science is not accurate. I will give two reasons. First, the amount of

Ray Baumann
Although I agree with many of the brutal observations that Elie Shneour finds so deplorable yet essential to articulate ["Of Semantics And The Scientist Population: Are There Too Many Of Us?" The Scientist, Sept. 18, 1995, page 12], I must take issue with his arbitrary division of investigators into scientists and technicians. His vision of the scientist as a mystical individual with sweeping knowledge encompassing all of science is not accurate.

I will give two reasons. First, the amount of knowledge available in any field is so large that it is beyond the capacity of any single scientist to know or understand it all. Second, most lab chiefs spend so much time trying to obtain funding that they are more appropriately viewed as professional grant writers than as "scholars of the scientific domain."

Science is an excellent tool, an analytical method for obtaining information about our environment, and scientists...

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