Generally scientists enter their field with the goal of doing important new research and accept as their colleagues those with similar motivation. Therefore, when any scientist wins renown as an expounder of science to general audiences, most other scientists conclude that this popularizer should no longer be regarded as a true colleague.

The explanation offered above for the low esteem in which scientific popularizers are held by research scientists assumes that

serious scientific research is not a solitary activity, but relies on active cooperation among a group of colleagues

research scientists tend not to regard as colleagues those scientists whose renown they envy

a scientist can become a famous popularizer without having completed any important research

research scientists believe that those who are well known as popularizers of science are not motivated to do important new research

no important new research can be accessible to or accurately assessed by those who are not themselves scientists


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