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Thread: Biology and Chemistry

  1. #1 Biology and Chemistry 
    Gex
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    So I'm in my 2nd week of year 11 and am currently doing 3 sciences; psychology, chemistry and physics and thoroughly enjoying chemistry and physics. In year 10 we did a bit of each of the 3 main sciences (chem/phys/bio) and despite doing extremely well in bio I didn't find it very interesting and as such didn't choose to follow up on it this year.
    I have recently however, come to understand that a lot of jobs involving chemistry also involves a lot of biology. Is this the case and will I be missing out or severely handicapped study and job wise later in life for not studying anymore biology?


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  3. #2  
    Forum Ph.D. Heinsbergrelatz's Avatar
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    will I be missing out or severely handicapped study and job wise later in life for not studying anymore biology?
    i think this part has been over-acted .. in some sense. Though i am aware, the more you go in to biology in higher levels, the more chemistry that its going to appear. But there are lots of fields you can enter involving physics and chemistry itself, ALOT e.g. Nuclear Physics, Quantum Mechanics, Organic Chemistry, Particle Physics,Crystallography etc... So i don't think you should really worry about it, and just focus on your current subjects. Also if you are not interested in a subject, and continue pursuing it, ill say its better not doing it.

    But, maybe if you took Biology and no chemistry.... i dont know, but i think it will lead to a different scenario.


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  4. #3  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    You don't have to study biology to be a chemist.

    You usually do have to study chemistry to be a biologist. It depends on your field though, I did a lot of organic chemistry and biochem for my bachelor's. If you concentrate on something like ecology or wildlife biology, you'll probably do a lot less.

    High school biology is nothing like university level biology, but hey not every science is for every person. I despise physics.
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  5. #4  
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    Its pretty impossible to be a chemist without a background in Biology, but to be honest what you learn in Biology 101 (or equivilent) in your first year of tertiary study is probably enough. Further more said first year biology courses usually dont require a background in biology.

    Your high school study should be focused more on language (i.e. learning how to read/write effectively and efficeintly as good communication is very important in the sciences), learning how to study and learning to think like a scientist etc; not memorizing material which will just be repeated in your first year of university.

    I.e., relax.
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  6. #5  
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    Based on my experience at the university level, a deep understanding of biology is not necessary for a chemist. At most, you will be expected to take a general biology class and a more specialized class involving biologically important macromolecules.

    However, like any occupation, a broad knowledge base will certainly help you get hired. It all depends on what specific field you are interested in. For instance, biomedical or pharmaceutical research will most definitely require a greater understanding of biology than something like the petrochemical industry.
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  7. #6  
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    I have noticed that chemists are more frequently posting in the chemistry forum, and biologists are more frequently posting in the biology forum. You might ask chemists (the chemistry forum) for their input, rather than biologists.
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  8. #7 Re: Biology and Chemistry 
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gex
    I have recently however, come to understand that a lot of jobs involving chemistry also involves a lot of biology.
    This is undoubtedly true, but there are also a lot of jobs involving chemistry that don't involve biology at all, especially in the energy sector. These jobs would be in engineering rather than research or fundamental science and are sometimes derided as mole-chasing or glorified plumbing, but as long as we continue to use oil and gas there will be chem. eng. jobs.
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  9. #8 Re: Biology and Chemistry 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    ...glorified plumbing, but as long as we continue to use oil and gas there will be chem. eng. jobs.
    And the O-rings are breathtaking.
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  10. #9 Re: Biology and Chemistry 
    Forum Isotope Bunbury's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by free radical
    Quote Originally Posted by Bunbury
    ...glorified plumbing, but as long as we continue to use oil and gas there will be chem. eng. jobs.
    And the O-rings are breathtaking.
    Don't get me started - but actually we use a lot more Kammprofile gaskets than O-rings. 8) Most elastomers don't do well in hydrocarbons, but they're OK in oddball applications like seawater.
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