academic circles

HolyUnicorn

Senior Member
Mandarin / the Shanghai Dialect
Hello,

“Since CRISPR (Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats) gene editing was discovered seven years ago, it has been generating a lot of excitement in academic circles and pharma and biotech businesses, as well as driving mainstream conversations.”

Assessing the off-target effects of gene editing | Scientist Live

How can I interpret “academic circles”? Why is “circle” plural here?

OED
Circle:
A number of persons united by acquaintance, common sentiments, interests, etc.; a ‘set’ or coterie; a class or division of society, consisting of persons who associate together.
 
  • lingobingo

    Senior Member
    English - England
    in academic circles = among academics = in the academic field

    You can substitute academic with whatever other “circle” is meant: in literary circles, in government circles, etc.
     

    Edinburgher

    Senior Member
    German/English bilingual
    One academic circle would be a group of academics in one location or institution.
    Several academic circles would be several groups of academics spread over several organizations, or country-wide or wold-wide.

    The plural expression "circles" used after a suitable adjective is fairly common.

    cross-posted
     
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