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Thread: Requirements to be a scientist

  1. #1 Requirements to be a scientist 
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    I am currently in 9th grade, and am amazed by science. Since middle school science has by far been my favorite academical class. I haven't taken physics and chemistry yet, but I very much look forward to it. So far in high school I have taken Earth Space Science Honors, and received a 92%A as my final, and currently I am taking Biology Honors and have a 94%A. In middle school I took Physical Science and remember it being the most interesting and thought-provoking class I have ever taken, in that class my final grade was the highest possible a 100%+A. I plan on going to college and studying science and hopefully will end up working as a scientist. I know science and math work hand-and-hand and I am not as good in math I received a 85%B in Algebra I, and currently I am taking Geometry and have a 100%A. What are some of the general requirements for working as a scientist? Does obtaining a job as a scientist require a high intellectual level? My IQ is currently only 116.


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    Forum Cosmic Wizard i_feel_tiredsleepy's Avatar
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    IQ's are rather meaningless, the first step is to get into a decent University, then you have to get above average grades something like a 3.5 gpa should be good (75-85% average). Then you have to suck up to profs and bam you get into grad school and you're a scientist.


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  4. #3  
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    Well that depends if you want to be a paper scientist or not.
    "If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe". - Carl Sagan
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  5. #4  
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    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Well that depends if you want to be a paper scientist or not.
    I want to be a chemical engineer, or some a scientist that works with physics and chemistry.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond K
    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Well that depends if you want to be a paper scientist or not.
    I was thinking chemical engineer.
    That's not a scientist T_T, oh well another one loss to engineering.

    Engineers get payed much better though.

    Edit: You'll need decent grades in chem and math, there should be a guidance councilor or something of the sort at your school that can guide you in the right direction to find admission requirements for different schools.
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  7. #6  
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    Quote Originally Posted by i_feel_tiredsleepy
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond K
    Quote Originally Posted by 425 Chaotic Requisition
    Well that depends if you want to be a paper scientist or not.
    I was thinking chemical engineer.
    That's not a scientist T_T, oh well another one loss to engineering.

    Engineers get payed much better though.
    Can you tell me the scientists that work with physics and or chemistry? I really like thinking "scientifically". I do not care if I make a little less money, it is what I would love to do. I just said chemical engineer because I don't know much about specific scientifical careers.
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    I think the difference between a scientist who uses chemistry, and an engineer who uses chemistry is research or application...either way you still use chemistry in both, but an engineering route might mean that you have to choose a very specific area to focus on, while research might allow you to cover more fields of interest.
    Chance favours the prepared mind.
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    I did some research online and I think I would be interested in Solid-state physics, Chemical physics, and Atomic physics. What scientific occupation best includes these?
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    ???
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    Nuclear engineering looks like it would be a pretty good fit, and the demand is there.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold14370
    Nuclear engineering looks like it would be a pretty good fit, and the demand is there.
    Thanks, I will look into it.
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  13. #12  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond K
    I did some research online and I think I would be interested in Solid-state physics, Chemical physics, and Atomic physics. What scientific occupation best includes these?
    Solid-state physics uses chemistry and atomic physics, so jobs like semiconductor/microproccessor fabrication could be a really good fit too...and of course there is huge demand in the computing/technology market....and probably will be for a long time.
    Chance favours the prepared mind.
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  14. #13 Re: Requirements to be a scientist 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond K
    I am currently in 9th grade, and am amazed by science. Since middle school science has by far been my favorite academical class. I haven't taken physics and chemistry yet, but I very much look forward to it. So far in high school I have taken Earth Space Science Honors, and received a 92%A as my final, and currently I am taking Biology Honors and have a 94%A. In middle school I took Physical Science and remember it being the most interesting and thought-provoking class I have ever taken, in that class my final grade was the highest possible a 100%+A. I plan on going to college and studying science and hopefully will end up working as a scientist. I know science and math work hand-and-hand and I am not as good in math I received a 85%B in Algebra I, and currently I am taking Geometry and have a 100%A. What are some of the general requirements for working as a scientist? Does obtaining a job as a scientist require a high intellectual level? My IQ is currently only 116.

    I am sure at this point in time you will not be going to a college to study science. You many pick up some cool phenomena, however you will miss out on basic science. And actually in my opinion be filled with more nonsense then reality. But I wish you the best in your adventure.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  15. #14 Re: Requirements to be a scientist 
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    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond K
    I am currently in 9th grade, and am amazed by science. Since middle school science has by far been my favorite academical class. I haven't taken physics and chemistry yet, but I very much look forward to it. So far in high school I have taken Earth Space Science Honors, and received a 92%A as my final, and currently I am taking Biology Honors and have a 94%A. In middle school I took Physical Science and remember it being the most interesting and thought-provoking class I have ever taken, in that class my final grade was the highest possible a 100%+A. I plan on going to college and studying science and hopefully will end up working as a scientist. I know science and math work hand-and-hand and I am not as good in math I received a 85%B in Algebra I, and currently I am taking Geometry and have a 100%A. What are some of the general requirements for working as a scientist? Does obtaining a job as a scientist require a high intellectual level? My IQ is currently only 116.

    I am sure at this point in time you will not be going to a college to study science. You many pick up some cool phenomena, however you will miss out on basic science. And actually in my opinion be filled with more nonsense then reality. But I wish you the best in your adventure.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
    What exactly do you mean? Why would I miss out on the basic science? Why would I be filled with more nonsense? What is your basis for that? Well mabye I won't take you seriously because you start every other sentence with and or but.
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  16. #15 Re: Requirements to be a scientist 
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond K
    Quote Originally Posted by William McCormick
    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond K
    I am currently in 9th grade, and am amazed by science. Since middle school science has by far been my favorite academical class. I haven't taken physics and chemistry yet, but I very much look forward to it. So far in high school I have taken Earth Space Science Honors, and received a 92%A as my final, and currently I am taking Biology Honors and have a 94%A. In middle school I took Physical Science and remember it being the most interesting and thought-provoking class I have ever taken, in that class my final grade was the highest possible a 100%+A. I plan on going to college and studying science and hopefully will end up working as a scientist. I know science and math work hand-and-hand and I am not as good in math I received a 85%B in Algebra I, and currently I am taking Geometry and have a 100%A. What are some of the general requirements for working as a scientist? Does obtaining a job as a scientist require a high intellectual level? My IQ is currently only 116.

    I am sure at this point in time you will not be going to a college to study science. You many pick up some cool phenomena, however you will miss out on basic science. And actually in my opinion be filled with more nonsense then reality. But I wish you the best in your adventure.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
    What exactly do you mean? Why would I miss out on the basic science? Why would I be filled with more nonsense? What is your basis for that? Well mabye I won't take you seriously because you start every other sentence with and or but.
    Great writers often start sentences with "And" or "But". "And" is to concatenate the previous sentence to the sentence in question. "But" is used in that case as "despite" "against the odds".

    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  17. #16  
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    Raymond,
    William is one of the more colourful personalities to be found on The Science Forum. You are wise to treat what he says with caution. There is much of value in it, but you have to sift through the dross to find it.

    As to your question, I think you need to decide whether you want to be an academic scientist, located in a University; or a research scientist for a commercial company; or an applied scientist/engineer, again for a commercial company. The good news is that you don't need to make that decision yet. As others have suggested, get good grades in maths/phsics/chemistry at school. Get into a good university. Then, based upon what you learn in say your first year, decide which direction you want to head in.

    Good luck.
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  18. #17  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Raymond,
    William is one of the more colourful personalities to be found on The Science Forum. You are wise to treat what he says with caution. There is much of value in it, but you have to sift through the dross to find it.

    As to your question, I think you need to decide whether you want to be an academic scientist, located in a University; or a research scientist for a commercial company; or an applied scientist/engineer, again for a commercial company. The good news is that you don't need to make that decision yet. As others have suggested, get good grades in maths/phsics/chemistry at school. Get into a good university. Then, based upon what you learn in say your first year, decide which direction you want to head in.

    Good luck.
    That was a good point, there are two types of scientists in today's world. And of course the bad ones.

    Here is a link to some of the first scientists that went to work in a business or industrial operation, and really were scientists, allowed some room to do what they felt was important. Some noteworthy characters left the rather dead colleges to do their work with the company. It was interesting reading for me.

    http://www.rockwelder.com/History/GE/HistofGE.htm

    Then the war came and they had to hide their work for Uncle Sam.


    Sincerely,


    William McCormick
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  19. #18  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ophiolite
    Raymond,
    William is one of the more colourful personalities to be found on The Science Forum. You are wise to treat what he says with caution. There is much of value in it, but you have to sift through the dross to find it.

    As to your question, I think you need to decide whether you want to be an academic scientist, located in a University; or a research scientist for a commercial company; or an applied scientist/engineer, again for a commercial company. The good news is that you don't need to make that decision yet. As others have suggested, get good grades in maths/phsics/chemistry at school. Get into a good university. Then, based upon what you learn in say your first year, decide which direction you want to head in.

    Good luck.
    Hey thanks.

    I love the attitude scientists have.
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  20. #19  
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    The line between what chemists and chemical engineers do gets more and more blurred every day. At one time being a chemist meant you tried to understand the fundamentals of how chemicals interacted, while being a chemical engineer meant that your knew a lot about how to safely build and run factories that produced a bazillion gallons of some particular chemical. Today, however, many "chemical engineers" work to understand fundamentals of things and many "chemists" work on useful applications/inventions. In general chem. engineers are still much more focused on useful applications then pure chemists, but there are plenty of scientific conferences where you find a bunch of chem. engineers, materials scientists, and chemists all talking about the same stuff. This is at least partly because in the U.S. no one is building new chemical factories, so the chemical engineers are having to come up with other things to do.
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  21. #20 Re: Requirements to be a scientist 
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Raymond K
    I am currently in 9th grade, and am amazed by science. Since middle school science has by far been my favorite academical class. I haven't taken physics and chemistry yet, but I very much look forward to it. So far in high school I have taken Earth Space Science Honors, and received a 92%A as my final, and currently I am taking Biology Honors and have a 94%A. In middle school I took Physical Science and remember it being the most interesting and thought-provoking class I have ever taken, in that class my final grade was the highest possible a 100%+A. I plan on going to college and studying science and hopefully will end up working as a scientist. I know science and math work hand-and-hand and I am not as good in math I received a 85%B in Algebra I, and currently I am taking Geometry and have a 100%A. What are some of the general requirements for working as a scientist? Does obtaining a job as a scientist require a high intellectual level? My IQ is currently only 116.

    IQ

    You are quite ok with your IQ. University education nowadays is not really that intellectual any more. I did fine as well. In fact, I would say your IQ is perfect. What really matters is motivation, and from your post I would say that you are oozing motivation. You can easily be at the top of your class, because you will notice when you arrive at university that most will be slacking, the instructions are good, the tasks not that demanding, except for a few. With dedication you will blow them all away.

    That's the first hurdle then. You got your Masters and you did well.

    PhD


    No scientist has just a Msc though, so you continue with a PhD.

    Luckily there are many positions as a PhD student. It has been very popular in recent times to create PhD positions so that Politicians and Academic Leaders can state that science is expanding. So you are in for a breeze. If there is no position available you can go to another county.


    Consider even going to Europe if you are a citizen of the USA. There are nowadays plenty of Marie Curie PhD positions. And they pay very well. In fact, you might end up in a lab as a Marie Curie PhD student and make more than most post docs! But you say: Marie Curie is for Europeans!!! It is an EU grant! Not at all. You merely have to do your PhD in Europe. And you get nice benefits like a huge amount of travel money, because the EU wants you to be mobile. Unfortunately these things are only for 3 years.

    Post Doctoral

    You picked a good lab and you did a wonderful PhD. You are almost a scientist. Now it is time to become a post doc. Pick the right lab and you will get shit hot papers. This might require some elbow work and being an asshole, but you get used to that being in science for so long already.

    Groupleader/PI

    Now that you did one or two successful postdocs, you are ready to become a PI/groupleader. Of all the people in your class at university there are maybe 2 or 3 people that made it this far, maybe even less. So you are the elite. It is now time to sit behind a desk and do nothing but apply for grants.

    Once in a while your student or postdoc comes to your office and shows you results. You tell them to do better or do more experiments. You present their data at international conferences. All is well.

    After 5 years it is crunch time. The funding for the first 5 years is relatively easy. Now it is time to see if you are made of the right stuff. If not you usually end up teaching or something at a university position, if you are then you lab grows and you keep raking in articles in top journals which will help you get more funding.

    At this point in time you don't even have time to step into the lab. You are often away at meetings, or conferences. And otherwise you are putting together figures and papers or grant applications.

    rinse and repeat till 65.

    Retirement

    retire.
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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  22. #21  
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    spuriousmonkey gives a disturbingly accurate description of what being an academic scientist if like.

    Of course, we should point out that things are very different in industry. If you go to work for a company doing research you will make two or three times as much money and spend most of you time actually doing research. The downside is that you will usually be working on whatever your boss/company wants you to work on, rather than what you might personally think is interesting. Of course ideally you would go to work for a company that researches things you find interesting.
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  23. #22  
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scifor Refugee
    spuriousmonkey gives a disturbingly accurate description of what being an academic scientist if like.

    Of course, we should point out that things are very different in industry. If you go to work for a company doing research you will make two or three times as much money and spend most of you time actually doing research. The downside is that you will usually be working on whatever your boss/company wants you to work on, rather than what you might personally think is interesting. Of course ideally you would go to work for a company that researches things you find interesting.
    I think spurious paints a very drab picture that doesn't necessarily have to be the case. It can be, but it doesn't have to be. I know practicing academics who do spend time in the lab and take a very active role in the research they lead, as well as teaching and advising graduate students and filling out grants and attending conferences. You can have a fulfilling life this way, if that is what you want, and you learn to budget your time and your efforts.

    Raymond, of all the things you could do to help you decide where you want to end up, you must get experience. Volunteer to work in research labs when you're at college, or even now (some high schools have such programs available for their students), do internships at companies during the summer. This is the best way to get a feeling for where you will be satisfied.
    Man can will nothing unless he has first understood that he must count on no one but himself; that he is alone, abandoned on earth in the midst of his infinite responsibilities, without help, with no other aim than the one he sets himself, with no other destiny than the one he forges for himself on this earth.
    ~Jean-Paul Sartre
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  24. #23  
    Forum Cosmic Wizard spuriousmonkey's Avatar
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    what's drab about being a successful PI?
    "Kill them all and let God sort them out."

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