Cardiff study shows attitudes differ in UK and Sweden
Scientists in Britain tend to exclude controversial 'maverick' colleagues from their community to ensure they do not gain scientific legitimacy, new research has shown.
A Cardiff University study has found that British scientists' attitudes differ considerably from those of their counterparts in Sweden, when managing dissent.
The research, by Lena Eriksson, a Swedish researcher in the Cardiff School of Social Sciences, has shown that British scientists operated with firm boundaries between 'inside' and 'outside' and believed that controversial scientists needed to be placed outside the community so as to not gain scientific legitimacy.
Swedish scientists were more inclined to ensure that all members 'have their say'. They were more likely to be inclusive, so as not to create adversaries who would threaten the scientific community.
"The image of a scientific establishment attacking and punishing individual researchers with contentious results — such as the MMR vaccine controversy - has done little to inspire public trust in science."
Is the US more like Sweden or Great Britain? In some ways, we're harder on people outside of the mainstream; but, they do seem to be less likely to be discouraged.