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What inspired scientists

  1. Oct 23, 2011 #1

    I am trying to find information about what inspired people to become scientists.
    I know that there are some big events that are often mentioned such as the apollo missions. But I cannot find any information from a confirmed reliable source that states this. ie. all I have now is anecdotal information.
    Also, I've heard that many scientists were inspired by popularizers like Carl Sagan. Again, the only info I have about this is anecdotal - So, is there any reliable source that has perhaps surveyed scientists and can perhaps statistically support the claim that popularizers like Sagan inspired people to become scientists?
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 23, 2011 #2
  4. Oct 23, 2011 #3
    hmm... as I said in my original posts, I am looking for definite information about what inspired people to become scientists. ie. what do today's scientists cite as their inspiration.
    The page you linked does not provide this.
  5. Oct 23, 2011 #4


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    One more anecdote - family tradition: my grandpa was an academic mathematician, father academic chemist, I used to be academic physicist, my daughter studies biochemistry...
    If you grew up in a lab rather than in kindergarten, science seems to be a natural environment to live.

    That's not only the anecdote - over 1/4 of faculty are members of academic-clan-families.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2011
  6. Oct 23, 2011 #5
    thanks for your comment xts. out of curiosity, where did you get your statistic of 1/4?
  7. Oct 23, 2011 #6


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    Of "about 1/4" - hard to count them precisely, but it seems to be between 1/4 and 1/3 ;) That's my estimation taken from people I met at Physics Dept of Warsaw University and Polish Academy of Sciences - Institute of Physics.
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