Communicating with each other
Research is a highly creative process, in which new ideas are always needed. Working in teams, and discussing research with others, help provide these ideas.
Many of the most creative periods in science are characterised by scientists of diverse areas of expertise working together. For example, Crick, Franklin, Watson and Wilkins working out the structure of DNA in the 1950s.
The wide-ranging expertise of researchers at the Museum allows many questions to be explored. Email and the internet ensure that this debate involves research groups across the world.
Communicating with peers
When a research project has ended, its results must be communicated so others can build upon its conclusions. There are thousands of journals published monthly.
Peer-reviewed journals are the backbone of science. The scientific articles published there have all been checked for reliability by other groups of scientists. These are often also published online.
Another important medium is the conference. Formal papers are published as 'proceedings', but it is also an opportunity for informal communication.
Communicating with the public
Finally, science must be communicated to the wider society, with which it is always connected. There are many facets to this communication.
Researchers work with other communicators to ensure accuracy. For example, scientists help create exhibitions, documentaries, answer journalists' enquiries and publish on the internet.
Scientists also communicate directly. Through initiatives such as the Darwin Centre, and events such as National Science Week researchers interact directly with the public.