The 5 Symptoms of Being a Scientist

What does it mean to be a scientist? Not everyone is cut out to spend their days working in a lab and entering data into a scientific notebook. If you display these five symptoms, you may have the condition known as “being a scientist.”

Symptom 1: Terminal Curiosity

When you look up at the night sky and see the stars shining down, do you obsessively start thinking about the atomic processes that allow celestial bodies to form? Or maybe you start trying to calculate exactly how many centuries the light you’re now seeing took to travel through the cosmos to reach your eyes, and if you can figure out whether or not the star you’re currently observing still even exists. If you’re not content with just accepting how things work, and you need to know why the world and the universe work the way they do, you have the first symptom of being a scientist.

Symptom 2: Obsessive Data Disorder

Have you ever seen a news story that sites a certain chart or data set, and you immediately start questioning the validity of the numbers or the parameters that the data is being filtered through? For some people, simply being told a percentage or shown a graph isn’t good enough. They need to see the numbers for themselves, to take a look at the raw data and come up with their own conclusions. That’s a good thing: A real scientist loves diving into a giant pool of data and experiencing it for themselves.

Symptom 3: Uncontrollable Enthusiasm for Learning

Some people don’t just like to learn new things; they have to keep learning. And not only do they love learning new facts, figures, and details that seem insignificant to most people, but that change the very way you look at things, they can’t help but share their excitement with their friends, family, and coworkers. Bombarding your friends with all the details of biological organisms function may get you blank stares at a party. But when you’re in the lab, the reaction is much more welcoming.

Symptom 4: Unnatural Displays of Patience

Of course, scientists can’t just love data and learning new things. They have to be willing to search for it. Spending hours researching, crunching numbers, hypothesizing, and coming up with new experiments that may eventually lead nowhere isn’t for everyone. But if you’re willing to spend as long as it takes bent over a microscope or organizing meticulously collected numbers into a spreadsheet in order to get one more number that you can add to months or years of collected research, then science may be in your blood.

Symptom 5: Excess Logic

For a scientist, something isn’t truly explained until it makes logical sense. It’s not enough to accept that things just work a certain way; a scientist has to know why, no matter how long it takes. If you find yourself picking apart the things your friends say, looking for inconsistencies and logical fallacies, or if you aren’t happy with an explanation from an authority figure until you’ve had a chance to hear the exact train of logic that lead them to come up with a particular policy or explanation, you have another one of the symptoms of being a scientist.

Does this sound like you? Then, congratulations! You’re probably on the road to becoming a great scientist. Next time you need to stock up on laboratory notebooks and other supplies, be sure to contact Scientific Notebook Company at 800-537-3028.

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