Nature of science - 4.3
As well as collaborating on the exchange of results, scientists work on a daily
basis in collaborative groups on a small and large scale within and between
disciplines, laboratories, organizations and countries, facilitated even more
by virtual communication. Examples of large-scale collaboration include:
- The Manhattan project, the aim of which was to build and test an atomic
bomb. It eventually employed more than 130,000 people and resulted in the
creation of multiple production and research sites that operated in secret,
culminating in the dropping of two atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
- The Human Genome Project (HGP), which was an international scientific research
project set up to map the human genome. The $3-billion project beginning in
1990 produced a draft of the genome in 2000. The sequence of the DNA is stored
in databases available to anyone on the internet.
- The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change), organized under the
auspices of The United Nations, is officially composed of about 2,500 scientists.
They produce reports summarizing the work of many more scientists from all
around the world.
- CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, an international organization
set up in 1954, is the worlds largest particle physics laboratory. The
laboratory, situated in Geneva, employs about 2,400 people and shares results
with 10,000 scientists and engineers covering over 100 nationalities from
600 or more universities and research facilities.
All the above examples are controversial to some degree and have aroused emotions
amongst scientists and the public.