Matt, I don’t know how often the remarks you felt were, as you said, “curt” were indeed remarks that would be widely considered “curt”, and how often you felt they were curt, but they might not be so widely considered curt. Along those lines, I think people should remember that this medium of typed messages lacks the intonation of our voices, and you might read a comment as if it came with a down-putting tone, when it could alternately be read with a neutral tone. So after reading a message that might seem curt or down-putting, you might see if you could then read it again with a more neutral tone. On occasion, after writing a comment explaining my ID, and seen that it might be read with a negative tone, I have added in parentheses “(take this with a neutral tone.)”
I would also add that in order to be one of the leaders in knowledge in a given subject, someone needs to be among those that spend the highest percentage of their time studying that subject. This often comes with spending less time socially than most. I can speak from the experience of someone who has spent an unusually high percentage of my time studying my subject, and I believe less time socially than most. I sometimes think to myself, thanks to not having a family, and more friends, and not having a “day job” as I call most jobs, I have a great amount of knowledge of my natural community, that few others have. It might be that due to spending so much time focused on our subject we have failed to develop better social skills, or that because we were uncomfortable socially we have found a refuge from social life in our studies in the subject we do have a forte in. Then in science, more than most subjects, there is more of a correlation of being a leader in knowledge of our subject, with engaging less socially. If my forte was acting, I’d be engaging with people a high percentage of the time I was practicing my strong subject. So if you think someone, who you might call a “True Scientist”, is being rude, curt, or down-putting, consider that it might be they don’t have the best social skills, and the greatest diplomacy.
I see multiple people on iNaturalist with tag names like “bird-nerd”, proudly advertising that they are so focused on their bird studies that they could be called “nerds” (applied to people who might have an exceptional focus on their study area, but correlated with that, might be more internally focused and not fit in as well socially). If you could imagine that these people are indeed “nerds” whose expertise correlates with them not fitting in so well socially, you might just laugh to yourself, and move on, without doing anything further to push the buttons of this person who might not have the greatest social skills