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#17 - Science teacher: In any nation, a flourishing national

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Complete Question Explanation

Must Be True—SN. The correct answer choice is (C)

This stimulus provides a fact set containing three conditional statements that we can chain together. First, the science teacher tells us that a flourishing national scientific community is necessary for a successful economy. We can diagram this relationship as:

SE = successful economy
FNSC = flourishing national scientific community

..... ..... ..... Sufficient ..... ..... Necessary

..... ..... ..... ..... SE ..... :arrow: ..... FNSC

Next, we are told that in order to have a flourishing national scientific community, it must be the case that many young people become excited enough about science that they resolve to become professional scientists:

MYPE = many young people become excited enough about science that they resolve to become scientists


..... ..... ..... FNSC ..... :arrow: ..... MYPE

Finally, the teacher tells us that to have that excitement among many young people, it must be the case that there is good communication between scientists and the public:

GCSP = good communication between scientists and the public

..... ..... ..... MYPE ..... :arrow: ..... GCSP

Combining these three relationships across the common terms FNSC and MYPE produces this conditional chain:

..... ..... ..... SE ..... :arrow: ..... FNSC ..... :arrow: ..... MYPE ..... :arrow: ..... GCSP

The question stem identifies this as a Must Be True question. The correct answer choice will focus on the conditional chain described above, testing on any portion of the chain or on its contrapositive.

Answer choice (A): This answer choice is incorrect for two reasons. First, the stimulus discussed the need for good communication between scientists and the public, not just communication. Next, this choice treats communication between scientists and the public as sufficient for young people becoming excited about science, while the stimulus identified such communication as necessary for young people to become excited about science.

Answer choice (B): This answer choice elaborates on the relationship presented in the second sentence of the stimulus. It is true that in order to have a flourishing national scientific community, it must be the case that many young people become excited enough about science that they resolve to become professional scientists. But, we were not told that the extent to which the scientific community flourishes depends principally on the number of excited young people.

Answer choice (C): This is the correct answer choice, because it restates an additive inference we learned from the conditional chain. Using the Unless Equation, in which the term modified by the word “unless” becomes the necessary condition and the remainder of the sentence is negated and becomes the sufficient condition, we can diagram this answer choice as:

..... ..... ..... Sufficient ..... ..... Necessary

..... ..... ..... ..... SE ..... :arrow: ..... GSCP

Answer choice (D): The stimulus provided that many young people must be excited about science. This answer choice changes that fact to say that most of the young people must be excited about science.

Answer choice (E): We were told that good communication between scientists and the public is necessary to spark many young people to become excited enough about science that they resolve to become professional scientists. This answer choice impermissibly expands on that idea to say that good communication is required for any scientific endeavor.
srcline@noctrl.edu
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Hello,

I'm having trouble understanding the logic and linking of conditionals in this stimulus. So I diagrammed this as:

successful natl. econ :arrow: flourish natl. science community

community to flourish :arrow: young ppl. resolve to be prof. scientists

excitement :arrow: good communication b/w scientists and public.

I picked answer choice A. Not sure how to link these to get to answer choice C. I don't see how the word unless figures into the original diagram as per the stimulus.

Thankyou
Sarah
Emily Haney-Caron
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Hi Sarah,

Your diagramming is good; the problem you're having here is that you missed the connection between your Necessary term in the second line and your Sufficient term in the third line. Where you have "young ppl. resolve to be prof. scientists," you might change it to "young people are excited enough." You could also then change excitement in the third line of diagramming to "young people are excited enough;" we know it's the same, because that last sentence of the stimulus says "that excitement," which is referring us back to the sentence before.

With that in mind, try to create a chain, and then go back to the answer choices again. Now can you make that connection?
deck1134
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Hi PowerScore,

Odd question. I picked (B) for this after eliminating everything but (C) and (B). It does seem that the word "principally" is implied by the language: a community "requires" that young people be excited. If they aren't, then there simply won't be a national scientific community flourishing. Isn't that the same thing as "Dependending principally?" If I took a stone that bears 33% of a building's weight out from the foundation, the building will fall, even if it isn't removing a majority (or principal amount) of support.

What am I missing here?
Adam Tyson
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We know that a flourishing community requires that many young people be excited, but we don't know that that is the principle requirement, Deck. It could be one of many requirements, and perhaps even a fairly minor one!

Also, is it all about the number, or just that there be "many," whatever that means? If 10 is "many," allowing for some amount of flourishing to occur, will 20 mean that the country flourishes more? Is there a direct, proportional relationship required here? I don't think so - it's just "if flourish, then many excited young people." Once we cross the "many" threshold, the extent of flourishing might be unaffected by the number, but by other factors.

Mainly, when the stimulus is so completely conditional, you should be looking for a conditional answer like C, rather than one about relative importance like B.
Adam M. Tyson
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