Yes! I have taken ultrasound data from patients with breast cancer, and from people undergoing brain surgery. These people weren’t (as far as I remember) working in science, but without them, a huge amount of cancer research would be impossible! When ill people volunteer to be part of a clinical trial, they are helping the progress of science, and potentially save other people’s lives in the future.
In terms of other non-scientists, I require technicians, engineers and computer specialists to help me get my work done – and of course, I wouldn’t be able to stay human without my non-scientist friends and girlfriend!
I work with people who are not scientists all the time! Because my work is based on data from the general public, each of those people could be considered to be working with us on the study. I also work with printing companies to make our questionnaires and with people in hospitals to set our studies up.
I need to work with computer programmers and IT people quite a lot too because I need their help to store our data and keep it safe.