I am a scientist.
And that's not a dirty word.
It's not the degree in physics that does it,
nor that I've been paid to wear a lab coat,
nor the calculus done in a past life.
It's the way one approaches life.
It's a questioning of why and how, and then
working to answer those questions.
It's a desire to see cause and effect,
to work a scientific method of research and
theory into everyday life.
It is a sense of wonder.
It is a willingness to say, "I do not know, but I want to."
One of the major disconnects between school and life
is how science is approached. In most academic
settings science is portrayed as a subject where people
know things. It is a world of absolutes and memorization.
I know Force=(Mass)(Acceleration).
I know the elements of the periodic table.
It is rules and definitions.
But this is the frame work for science, not what
scientists do in real life. Scientists out in the world
are searching, asking questions, discovering, working
with unknowns, and putting forth theories.
It is a world of many questions and few absolutes.
It is a taking of what is known, and applying it to
It is a mindset, not a set of qualifications.
This is how I can be scientist while I nurture my children,
or bake a cake, or sew a better seam, or tend to a
garden, or organize an art project, or tutor math.
I take what I know, or think I know, I apply it to a new
setting, I ask questions, I try solutions, I take data,
I listen, I reassess, I try again.
Being a scientist means not staying with what you know;
it means exploring new ideas through logic and
experimentation, learning new things, and, sometimes,
being vulnerable to the unknown.
It means success and failures, and taking risks.
Being a scientist is not related to gender, or age, or
education, or titles. It is a mindset.