While science is presumed to expand systematically, scientists know very well that research findings depend on the path taken and the 'rabbit trails' pursued along the way. Similarly, to the extent that knowing is a social process, what is eventually known is determined by the nature of the process. What becomes known is not predetermined. Who participates and how they are allowed to participate determines the types of questions raised, information brought to the discourse, and judgements made and encouraged upon others to make. The participants and the process determine the product. The process of reaching collective understanding is in fact, rapidly evolving. NGOs have added more and more scientists to their staffs and engaged ever more actively in the process of collective understanding.