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Dreamer

~~~ What qualifies you as a scientist? ~~~

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I'm B.S meteorology, so I guess I have a long way... Anyway, what degrees do you people have here?

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Bsc (Hons.) Chemistry and currently studing Bsc Applied science with Forensic Science and Crime Scene Science.

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BSc in Biomedical Science. I suppose I'm not "qualified", as I haven't earned my degree. But a degree doesn't make a scientist.

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correct, a degree does not make you a scientist. What qualifies me as a scientist? I work in a chemistry lab, doing science :D

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I'm in my last semester of my BSc in Biochemistry, and in my 3rd year of working in the research lab - but one thing I have learned through working in the lab is that having an MSc/PhD doesn't necessarily make you a better scientist than someone with a lesser degree. Degrees give you experience & specific knowledge, but a lot of being a scientist is all in asking the right questions. Some people are naturally good at *seeing* things - I know some undergrads who'd give most PhD students a run for their money.

 

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I'm still in highschool! i'm a junior

but a am taking A.P. Biology and Honors Chemistry

and i took A.P. Calculus last year (got a 3 on the test. not good, not bad). but in addition to that, and the most important thing is that i subscribe and contribute to this forum (and i used to subscribe and contribute to the HowStuffWorks forum, before they shut it down).

 

so i'm not "qualified"

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The function of science is to observe and explain. That's it. Science does not prove anything (indeed theories cannot be proved, only supported or refuted), it does not create anything. It is a formalised method for explaining reality as we percieve it.

 

If you understand and can apply with validity and rigour the principles of scientific method in persuit of the above, then you are qualified.

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for me, it`s my: Curiosity, Imagination, No fear of "hard Work", a little classical training to assist my thinking and recording of data, and the Awsome feeling of "Oneness" or "Closeness" to Nature/Reality that only discovery and understanding can provide :)

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I think YT2095 is close, curiosity and the will to understand.

If you don't 'feel' better by discovering something then I don't think you can call yourself a scientist. A walking scientific database isn't a scientist.

 

But obvious a degree can help a lot.

(inventing the wheel again isn't really useful)

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Kedas said in post # :

I think YT2095 is close, curiosity and the will to understand.

If you don't 'feel' better by discovering something then I don't think you can call yourself a scientist. A walking scientific database isn't a scientist.

 

But obvious a degree can help a lot.

(inventing the wheel again isn't really useful)

 

It all depends on your definition of the word 'qualifies'. It could refer to 'qualifications' or it could refer to 'qualities'.

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it`s all semantics based around the same word really.

the answers I gave (and other people gave) is what Qualifies them. Those answers given are their Qualities, and those qualities are therefore by default their Qualifications :)

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Guest VinnyMacavelli

I have spoken with a few self proclaimed scientists, and all do have different qualifications supporting at least one or more valid reasons to be such. Unfortunatly to call one self a scientist, intelligence does not always seem a prerequisite.

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From the point of view of an historian of science, scientists are people involved in the research side of the social activity called science. Scientists in the modern sense occupy a particular social position which has only been around for a couple of centuries (starting with the French Revolution, more or less). Isaac Newton, for example, would be more accurately characterised as a natural philosopher. Someone dabbling with chemistry in his garden shed isn't a scientist in this sense.

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Working on a B.S in geology and biology. I was in the infantry, worked as a lab tech for a Pharmaceutical company, and 5 years in Industrial Waste Water as an Asst. Mgr. What qualifies Scientist? Only an insatiable desire to seek for the truth using proven methods, refusing bias or political influence, and dedication to the furthering of knowledge for the betterment of mankind. Though they may not undertand that is what you are doing. As Galileo, you must be willing to suffer for the sake of truth.

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Those criteria don't neccesarily make you a scientist - even assuming they can be fulfilled, they make you a rational enquirer.

 

as far as fulfillment goes - I wouldn't describe scientific method as being proven in an unqualified sense; there are plenty of people carrying out research who may tire of it after a while; there are many doing it for reasons that are not purely altruistic; and it's difficult to show that the growth of scientific knowledge can be free of its social and political context.

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I've known people who conduct research for money, some for prestige in the scientific community and beyond. Only a few for the sake of relieving suffrage. Most "get tired of it" due to the politics they encounter. It is hard to maintain enthusiasm when your budget is cut, because your results are not what others want to hear. Does every one of the criteria I mentioned need to be met to make a scientist, no. But I do believe that a person that tries to adhere to higher ethical principals deserves the title. In the past "Scientist" was a much honored term. The title does not inspire what it did just thirty years ago. Within recent history I have seen cases of falsified data, probes lost due to rushed programming, shuttles with crew lost due to incompetence, drugs released to the public with side effects more harmful than the disease, etc.......Where does it end? It ends with a scientist that adheres to the principals I previously covered. The degree should not be the sole identifier of a scientist. Nor the position they hold.

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