• Question: Do you often share your research with other scientists?

    Asked by Anna to Matt on 21 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Matt Bilton

      Matt Bilton answered on 21 Nov 2014:

      Yes! This is the point for me. My research on its own will not really help that many people, but it may be very useful for someone else planning another experiment, or maybe even thinking about designing new treatments. When scientists share research like this then much more progress can be made. Also, if scientists share all of their work then it stops people doing the same work lots of times, or making the same mistakes. And it’s really important to know what my colleagues are doing so that I can plan new and more exciting experiments myself.

      Of course, one worry is having someone steal your ideas, which can happen – it’s nice to get credit for your work and this is important if you want to have a career researching science, so there is a balance. But scientific conferences are a great place to share new results with other scientists. And if I ever get the choice I’d prefer to help another scientist improve their work than keep something secret.