8 Attributes You Need To Possess To Be A Great Scientist
Have you once wondered if you’re meant to be a scientist?
Do white coats, gloves and goggles gesture to you in a significant way?
You might have even pictured yourself in the medical research field coming up with the next significant cure. Isn’t that interesting?
A career in science might be a perfect choice for you.
Ok, you may be stuck on finding out what career is best for you amidst several options available to you or you found your way here because you don’t feel the same way you felt when you just started your non-science career.
Not to worry… 🙄
Nowadays, people are not stuck in the same career for their whole working life. Some people are so quick to change their careers as soon as their education and training become more readily available.
Similarly, many others prefer to change careers in later life, especially after retirement.
But, there’s much more to it than that, and a career in science isn’t for everyone.
A career in science seems as though it is rewarding. It can feel like a chance to make a real difference in the world or be the person that develops a theory that will change the way we use energy. It’s exciting, right?
My tip for you – your exact field or profession can be perfectly chosen if you begin to prepare your mind and actions towards that field you desire. Remember, a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.
I’ll show you some steps you should start taking if you want to excel as a scientist.
1. Enjoy Learning
To be a good scientist, you must be driven to ask questions and get specific answers?
What was your favourite subject in school? It doesn’t have to have been science, but the best scientists have a love for learning. So you need to be the kind of person that enjoys academia. Your favourite might have been in history or geography.
If you prefer avoiding the classroom and spending time on the playing field, a career in science might not be for you.
As a scientist, you have to be open to continual learning. Even those things that you are sure you know, you should be prepared to relearn as the world changes. Science is constantly evolving and discoveries are made daily. Do you find it easy to update yourself and your thinking habits about how truths are changed to facts?
I learnt BODMAS as early as a student but until recently I did not know about PEMDAS that is used to solve a question like “6÷2 (2+1)” which will give either 1 or 9 as the correct answer.
You should feel passionate about learning new things. Your thirst for knowledge should excite you and drive you forward.
2. Love Details
Science isn’t all about great discoveries or impressive facts. Most of your days will be about the much more delicate details.
You’ll need to be able to look beyond the big picture and into the finest details. You should be quick to notice incorrect or imprecise scientific representations. In fact, you should be able to differentiate between diarrhoea and dysentery no matter how similar they look.
You ought to be able to tell the weatherman on the TV that the temperature is not 22oC but 22.3oC even when he can not hear you 😛 . You’ll need to be as interested in a 24 well plate as you are interested in the next big thing.
To succeed well as a scientist, you must have great organizational skills that can help you execute your goals step by step. You should be able to use
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3. Be Curious
Do you question things? Are you the curious type? The eager one; always ready to know more about pieces of stuff.
Does the complexities of chemistry, mysteries of biology and the precision of physics excite you? Are you a person who is really attracted to natural and physical things?
Do you enjoy analyzing things? Then you will likely do well as a scientist.
A bright sunny day should catch your attention and if you ever get a seat on the space shuttle, you should gladly hop on it and never look back. :lol:.
Your room or shelf should have an object or picture that you think has some scientific significance? Do you collect things so that you can observe or monitor them and keep records?
I remember collecting smooth-white stones from the warm spring in Ikogosi, Ekiti state, Nigeria in 2009, and kept it arranged them by my window for 7 years.
In short, if “why” and “how” are a big part of your vocabulary, you might find a career in science rewarding. You do need to be prepared to ask and get the answers.
4. Be Brave
The best scientists are brave. They need to have the courage to ask questions.
They need to be able to stand up and say that they think a popular theory or well-known scientist is wrong. Scientists make sure they gather facts through research and not just depend on general beliefs. They stand up for their ideas.
Your boldness should be seen in your choice of television programs such as discovery world where you can regularly watch national geography wild, Space or Viasat Nature.
You could also watch a documentary about NASA’s rover on Mars instead of watching UEFA champion’s league final. You can’t afford to spend 3 hours watching a romantic movie when there’s a 5 hours documentary.
5. Be a Problem Solver
As a scientist or researcher, you’ll face problems every day. It’s your job to find the solutions. Only great problem solvers make great scientists.
You need to be able to think about scientific solutions and other related alternatives on a whim. To do well in science, you would have to be a bit friendly with past records, current records and possible future events. You shouldn’t also accept the fact that science is not easy because you are fascinated by it.
You should be attracted to the problems or questions and be bent on finding a solution or getting a reasonable explanation. Do not give up when tackling a problem, even if the explanation you got gives rise to other questions.
6. Love acronyms
It might take some people some time to learn abbreviations and acronyms. However, you need to be able to assimilate alphabets easily and enjoy playing with puzzles.
You will do well as a scientist if you prefer using those scientific terms in everyday things. For example, when you say H2O instead of water or you use uncommon terms for regular things.
The word “Homo sapiens” should sound cool to you than “human”. To learn faster, you might have to transform your conversation with your friends to a combination of exclamations and symbols.
You should even feel comfortable to call your friend Toluene instead of Tolu or Alkane instead of Akin. 😉 . However, scientific vocabularies are not just enough, you should learn to accompany your conversations with jokes that are related to science e.g “She acts like a-mean-oh (amino) acid” 😀
7. Love books and facts
To do well in science, you need to love the idea of reading. You should be attracted and attached to journals, news or pamphlets that are related to science. Be ready to be informed about the new facts about science.
You ought to be able to run and rerun a process to test run and rerun the process to ensure its infallibility.
You should be a person that doesn’t accept a statement unless you have proven it to be scientifically sound and precise. Gathering information from reliable sources that have been tested and tried should be your hobby.
It’s should never be enough with you to just relax after the first or the second test, you need to create a thirst to go further to the third, tenth and hundredth if need be.
Going an extra mile might just make you establish additional facts and figures before you postulate any theory. That way, you may never or rarely fall into the fallacy of hasty generalisation.
7. Have a library
A good scientist should have a collection of research on science subjects or specific interests. You should frequent the science section of your school or local library and have a spot in that section. Your librarian should have even noticed you.
Whenever you choose to read a novel, your choice should probably be a science fiction novel or a scientist biography or books that contain reports of different scientific expeditions and laboratories findings.
Do you keep clippings and science articles from papers and publications by scientists and organizations in the field of science? You should start doing that to feed your mind.
8. Have scientists as mentors
You should learn from the lives of past successful scientists and make reference to them as often as possible. When you talk, your words should sound like “as resilient as Stephen Hawkins” or “as patient as Thomas Edison” 😆 .
You need to have a ton of superheroes and be sure that you are not too concerned about their wealth but their achievements and contributions to the science world.
So, do you see all these attributes in you? If you haven’t but you really want to go for science, you should learn to imbibe these attributes.
Be curious, patient, resilient, creative in connecting things, thrilled with research and exploration and be hard working.
“There is no royal road to science, and only those who do not dread the fatiguing climb of its steep paths have a chance of gaining its luminous summits.” Karl Marx.
Go chase your dreams!