Mariette DiChristina Editor in Chief of Scientific American wrote in the last issue (October, 2014) a very insightful editorial titled 'You're Invited'. In it she exposes the need for collaboration in any successful endeavor and mentioned the changes in communication that she has leaded, including inviting bloggers and participating in international forums like the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In the same issue another editorial 'Preferential Treatment" the fact that 'good intentions are not enough to end racial and gender bias' exposes the situation within science as is commonly perceived in other fields.
Then in page 42 an article by Katherine W. Phillips (Paul Calello Professor of Leadership and Ethics; and Senior Vice-Dean at Columbia Business School) "How Diversity Works" articulates how "being around people who are different from us makes us more creative, more diligent and hard-working".
The same will apply to learning science.
Learning is an individual task but it is best accomplished in the company of others with which one is interacting intellectually. Challenging questions, and time will allow the ideas to evolve and consolidate. In the interest of creativity and motivation having views from different perspectives and cultures for sure will be nurturing.
The question is then: how can we go beyond good intentions? As Phillips write 'the first thing to acknowledge about diversity is that it can be difficult."
How can having students in a class that have a diverse level of experience in the topic help all to a better understanding?