• Question: seriously whats the hardest type of science

    Asked by jacks3509 to Anthony on 1 Feb 2019.
    • Photo: Anthony Redmond

      Anthony Redmond answered on 1 Feb 2019:


      We tend to hear a lot about the intelligence of famous physicists (and I am NOT saying we shouldn’t), but I think that all areas of science and subfields are difficult in their own ways. Anytime that we try and discover something new it is hard because we don’t have a roadmap to get to the discovery we are chasing down. Some questions are more difficult than others, and luck, and what background work has been done can play a big part in it, as well as the past experience and skill set of the researcher. Usually the least work that has been done on something the more big discoveries are yet to be made, but because little is known we often don’t know where to start or have to build new tools. On the other hand in an area where a lot of work has been done it can get harder to discover something big because so much has already been done.

      I think maths is a factor too. A lot of us have a problem with maths (either don’t get it, don’t think we get it, or just don’t like it!), and I think this can make some fields (like those with ‘theoretical’ or ‘computational’ before them) seem ‘harder’, because they appear less accessible to the average person.

      Also, I do think that some subjects or fields might come a little more naturally to some people or just be more interesting to a particular person, and that can make what others think is ‘hard science’ easy!

      All that said, I think if you work in an area where being wrong can directly put lives at risk, then that makes your science very hard!

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