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How do I become a scientists?

  1. Jul 25, 2006 #1
    I love all aspects of science. But, I like physics more than bio, chemistry etc. Being a scientist is my basic goal however I can't express my desire b'coz it will seem like I am bragging or something.
    But, the main problem is that I don't know how to enter the field. Being a physicist is the only major I can see which can take me to become a scientist. It is true?
    Also, $ is the problem. In other careers u get paid according to work or time. But, if u r a scientist how can u get paid until u find something?
    Do they get paid even if they r just messing with stuff?!

    It's like, the field I am most interested in is the field I am most confused about! :confused:
  2. jcsd
  3. Jul 25, 2006 #2


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    All a scientist is is someone who studies science. Physics, chemistry, biology are all sciences so anyone who studies those fields, amonsts others, is a scientist. Each field studies a different thing so you'd choose depending on what field you enjoy.
  4. Jul 25, 2006 #3


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    To enter the field, you go to college, and major in physics (if you want to be a physicist). Then you can either find a job in industry (if you're a wuss), or you can go on and get your PhD. Once you have a PhD, you can get paid to do research (either by industry or academic oriented groups).
  5. Jul 25, 2006 #4


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    I think most scientists do not become scientists for the money. They dedicate their life to science because it is what they like, and how they can help the world.
  6. Jul 26, 2006 #5
    IMO anyone going into science for money is in the wrong field. Research is a labor of love really.

    It seems like you think scientists only get paid by the discovery? No, thats not how it works. Most work as professors, some work in National Labs for example, where they get paid to do research work, regardless of what they find.
  7. Jul 27, 2006 #6
    Two neat things about science - and research in particular:
    1) It's a lot of fun - the world is a huge crossword puzzle, and you can fill in a few of the blanks....
    2) You can get paid to go to graduate school! You have to be fairly bright, of course, or else just normally intelligent and be willing to work hard. Much like anything else in the world, come to think of it.

    Also, you can make a lot of money at it, also two ways:
    1) Set up your own lab, make a brilliant invention, develop it yourself and make a gazillion dollars.
    2) Buy a lottery ticket. This has a much better chance of making money than #1, and besides, you can still work in industry or academia for a regular paycheck while you're waiting.
  8. Jul 27, 2006 #7
    To become a scientists, you first have to train yourself properly in a field of study. Having done this, you have to either clone yourself or reproduce asexually. It's hard, but don't worry, we only went through a half dozen non-viable clones before we achieved our goal.
  9. Jul 28, 2006 #8
    hahaha. Thats jokes!
  10. Jul 28, 2006 #9


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    Guys, I don't think he was asking if you make a lot of money being a scientist, it seemed more like he was confused as to whether scientists made ANY money
  11. Jul 28, 2006 #10


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    Yah i don't think he knows about research institutions, industry, and universities. I think he thinks scientists are like inventors who work out of their home or something.
  12. Jul 29, 2006 #11


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    Most scientists I know at Universities spend most of their time applying for grants to keep their departments open and fund their research.

    Some are lucky and actually get to do a bit of research. But the one thing I hear from all of them is that they get paid to do what they love. I think that's worth more than any amount of money.
  13. Jul 29, 2006 #12
    Well, science is a lot of work. I work in physics at an academic institution, and I sometimes spend 60+ hours a week working on a project.

    You should not go into physics to make money. First, this is not a very good reason. Second, you won't make that much money in physics (if that's your goal, you might want to consider engineering.. although they are not that much better off). Third, be sure that you know what you are getting into. From your questions and preconceptions, I can gather that you are not that familiar with high-level physics and scientific research; it's nothing like the movies. There is no glamour, very few people actually end up knowing what work you are doing, society in general is oblivious to what is being done in your field, and it takes a lot of hard work (more than you think).

    In no way is this post meant to discourage you. However, there are many times where you can see University freshmen very enthusiastic about the fact that they are starting a degree in physics, only to have them drop out after a semester because it wasn't what they thought, it was too hard, etc.

    Physics is, and always will be, a labour of love.
  14. Aug 1, 2006 #13
    After reading the replies, I would like to make some things clear, although some other replies did answer my question.
    I am not afraid of labor; I know what working with physics is like.
    Neither I wanna go into that field for making lots of money.
    I really like it. I wanna dedicate myself to science. I am kind of person who will prefer working for a science fair rather than going to a party.

    I think Office_Shredder know what I am asking. I wanna know if scientists get enough money to fulfill their general needs.
    Evo said "Most scientists I know at Universities spend most of their time applying for grants to keep their departments open and fund their research." Now that's one point I am concerned about. I would think of staying away of the field if I'll have to concentrate on getting grants all the time rather than researching. U know what I mean? Bcoz its like complete waste of every thing. If a person doesn't get such a support then it means that his interest and dedication is of no value. I don't think I wanna face that.
    Please correct me if I am wrong. Such things are what forcing me to select aerospace engineering (my second choice) rather than being a physicist.
    By the way, I thank all of u for support.
  15. Aug 1, 2006 #14
    Allow me to add something: In my opinion, a good way to get to know what a scientist does is by visiting Universities or reading books. I've done both things and I've learn few but important things about the scientist's life. And one thing is sure: when reading, you'll be fascinated about how they lived, what were their worries, how other scientists didn't agreed with them and they felt disappointed, their peculiar personalities...you will laugh, you will feel alike to a certain scientist and hopefully, you will learn.

    I recomend books by authors like Michio Kaku, David Bodanis, etc. as long as you enjoy what you're reading.

    I'm not experienced (I'm still very young) and I'll be facing the 'hard work' part soon, so I cannot help you more than this. If your passion is truthful I hope you'll enjoy your life dealing with science and don't expect to discover something because you'll live with the fear of failure. Just enjoy (and work hard). Afterall, we only live once.
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