• Question: If I Wanted To Be A Scientist What Ability Would I Need To Become One

    Asked by issi2001 to Anil, Blanka, Cees, Emma, Mike on 25 Jun 2012. This question was also asked by heart0987, alan1421, whanthony, whchetandrob, bellaswan123.
    • Photo: Michael Cook

      Michael Cook answered on 25 Jun 2012:

      Try and get some mathematics under your belt! Maths helps in all areas of science, both in doing the science part (writing about your work and understanding data) and in the act of setting up experiments and proving things about them afterwards. You don’t have to be a mathematical genius (I’m certainly not!) but you should do maths for as long as you can at school (A-Level would be good if you wanted to be an Engineer!)

      I think it’s also really important that you love your subject. Really enjoying what you study helps a lot – there’s not much fame or money to be found in science! Most of the people I know who are scientists do their job because they love it more than anything else in the world. But you should try to love your job anyway, whatever you do!

      I’m sure the others will have other suggestions too. It depends on what science you want to do!

    • Photo: Blanka Sengerova

      Blanka Sengerova answered on 25 Jun 2012:

      Good question. I think Mike’s suggestion to start with maths is a good one. I would add that an analytical mind is useful because you will be getting through a lot of data analysis in the course of being a scientist. The ability to persevere is important as sometimes things will simply not work and you will have to modify, repeat and modify again. But it’s worth it for the moments when you get your exciting new result that only you know about for the moment…

    • Photo: Emma Trantham

      Emma Trantham answered on 25 Jun 2012:

      Completely agree with Michael and Blanka: maths will definitely be useful and it’s really important to be positive thinking because when things go wrong (and trust me they will go wrong) you have to be able to work out why and start all over again!

      I also think it’s really important to have an inquisitive mind – it’s good to be constantly asking questions.

      Finally, I think having a good grasp of how to write really helps. You don’t have to be an amazing journalist or novelist but if you can put together the ideas you have into something that makes sense to someone else that is a really important skill. (You can judge whether or not I have it!! 😉 )