• Question: What qualities make up a good scientist?

    Asked by codfissh to Tomas, Richard, Reka, Laura, Kevin, Judith, James, Hannah, Hannah, Gemma, Emma, Ed, Anthony on 9 Jan 2019.
    • Photo: Emma Meaburn

      Emma Meaburn answered on 9 Jan 2019:


      This is an interesting question, and I suspect we will all have different answers! I think the best scientists I have worked with have been curious, critical (or more specifically, able to critically assess scientific findings), creative and able to communicate their findings simply and effectively.

    • Photo: Edward Morrison

      Edward Morrison answered on 11 Jan 2019: last edited 11 Jan 2019 11:37 am


      I like Emma’s answer using four ‘C’s. I agree. Just to expand a bit:

      1) Curious. A good scientist wants to find out something new, interesting, and useful.
      2) Critical. A good scientist should not believe something just because someone says so. They have to be convinced by evidence.
      3) Creative. People often mistakenly think science is following rules and offer little imagination. I have the found the total opposite to be true. It is just as creative as writing or making music.
      4) Communicate. One of the best ways to find out if you really understand something is to explain it to someone else. If they don’t understand it, perhaps you don’t either.

    • Photo: Judith Sleeman

      Judith Sleeman answered on 15 Jan 2019:


      There are very many different qualities that make a good scientist and Emma certainly listed some really important ones. To really get science ‘done’ effectively, it’s useful to have a variety of people with different qualities and characteristics, though, all working together. We can’t all be good at all of the things required, so teamwork is really important.

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