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Name: Jonathan
Status: student
Age: 13
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2/19/2003


Question:
What are the qualifications of a scientist?


Replies:
Jonathan,

The word itself will assist. ===> S-C-I-E-N-C-E

Study skills that should be already sharply honed by now

Curiosity and a willingness to revise one's opinions when the facts lead counter to your pet beliefs

Intelligence, because the knowledge base of science is very demanding

Enthusiasm to carry you through those inevitable research disappointments

Never-ending attention to detail that will make your research able to withstand the scrutiny of your peers

Commitment to a life of personal and professional honesty and responsibility

Enduring respect and appreciation for the work of those who paved the way for you

Regards,
ProfHoff 572


The most important qualification to be a scientist is a strong urge to want to know how something works, and why it works the way it does, and not some other way. The personality of scientists comes in all "flavors" from the quiet introvert like Albert Einstein, to the fun loving extrovert like Richard Feynman. A scientist needs to know as much math as he or she can get -- for two reasons: 1. A lot of science is expressed in terms of mathematics, and 2. math gives the person mental discipline that is needed to examine a problem. A scientist needs to know how to write!!! Surprised? It does not matter how brilliant a research scientist is, if that person cannot express her or his ideas coherently and clearly, those ideas will not be communicated to others. A scientist has to be a skeptic. Always ask the question, "Show me your data.". This does not mean that a scientist must be cynical, but scientists must base their (or some other's) claims on some sort of testable experimental information. This does not mean that a scientist cannot speculate and ask "What if?" because that is where new ideas come from. But the speculation, the guessing creative part of science, needs to be clearly labels as such.

There is a long list of other qualifications that some scientists need to a greater or lesser extent, but I believe these certainly belong on any list of qualifications needed.

Vince Calder


Hard worker
Well educated...need good math skills especially...etc.\
Logical
Careful
Fair
Honest
Energetic
Cooperative
Imaginative

Peter Faletra


The most important qualification is to enjoy science. Many scientists are very good at math, especially those in the physical sciences like chemistry and physics. Scientists are usually good at figuring out how to solve problems. Scientists need to know how to make decisions and how to organize and perform experiments and record data. Of course, a scientist needs to know how to write so that he/she can record information and share ideas with other scientists. Because scientists may also give presentations to others, public speaking skills also help. Being able to get along with other people is also crucial, because scientists often work with other people, such as other scientists, mathematicians, historians, writers, the general public, teachers, reporters and students.

Pat Rowe


Hey Jonathan,

Big question. Lots of answers.

From the basic definition of scientist, Webster's "A person specializing in science", it could be anyone who is interested in studying science.

Usually someone who wants to be a scientist has to decide what field he or she would like to study. There are lots, Physics, Biology, Chemistry, Geology, and more. All these sciences are broken down into other specialties; molecular biology, astrophysics, hydrology for example. There are a zillion to pick from. Most scientists go to college o get a degree in their favorite science. Some work in labs trying to find cures for sicknesses. Some try to discover how things are put together. Others are making new things. Most scientists go on to get their Masters degree in their special fields.

If you are interested in being a scientist, take as much science in school as you can. If you are still interested in science when you go to college, you can study more there. Eventually, you will find the kind of science you like the best.

I hope I have answered your question.

Martha Croll



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