Science teacher: In any nation, a flourishing national scientific community is essential to a successful economy. For...

claire_crites on May 21, 2019


Why would this be C and not B? Thanks!

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shunhe on December 26, 2019

Hi @claire-crites,

To see why (C) is right, it'll be useful to diagram this one out.

The first sentence of the stimuli tells us that you need a flourishing national scientific community for a successful economy. We can diagram that as follows:

Successful economy (SE) - > flourishing national scientific community (FNSC)

And what does a flourishing national scientific community need? Young people to be excited about science, so much that they resolve to become professional scientists.

FNSC - > Young people excited about science (YPES)

What is necessary for that excitement to be sparked? Good communication between the scientists and the public.

YPES - > Good communication between the scientists and public (GCSP)

(C) says that no nation can have a successful economy unless at some point scientists have communicated well with the public. Recall that we can diagram "X unless Y" as ~Y - > X. So we diagram (C) as:

~GCSP - > ~SE

And note that based on the contrapositive of our statements above, this is true, as

~GCSP - > ~YPES - > ~FNSC - > ~SE

Which we can abbreviate as ~GCSP - > ~SE. (C) is something that we can directly infer from the information given in the passage.

(B), on the other hand, brings in a consideration of degree with the words "the extent to which." While it is true that the stimulus tells us that you need excited young people for a flourishing national scientific community, it doesn't mention anything about degree. It also doesn't say that FNSC relies "principally" on YPES. As far as we know, excited young people could be one of a number of factors, with other being more important even though this one is also necessary, or all of the factors being equally important. Hope this helps!