Ah, and research councils and groups! I am a part of one such entity. We're encouraged to look for places to publish. But let me stray no further.
On a different train, let us call the scientist the progenitor of our imaginations. What they strive to make reality is that which we couldn't imagine a decade before. Their motivations and intentions are various.
The scientists of today base their findings on hard numbers, the ability to recreate experiments, and previous results. From this, they are able to create. But who is to say that the witchdoctors, sorcerers, alchemists, and necromancers of days gone were not scientists?
Their labors may have produced what we today look upon as only popular fiction. Zombies, talking familiars (dogs, cats, etc.), vampires, human-animal hybrids (harpies, lizard men), and so forth.
I state this all in opinion, so that your own thoughts may be moved to speak on the matter. :)