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More than one way to be a scientist

Posted by on July 18, 2013

By Natasha Neill, Executive Officer at the Society of Biology

We may work as a scientist, in science or use our skills gained from science in another field entirely, but all of us are science professionals, and all equally worthy to be the ‘classic image’ that pops up in the imagination when you mention science. It’s a much more diverse field than ‘a man conducting experiments wearing a white lab coat’, and the Science Council are working to break the stereotype.

The Science Council is the umbrella organisation for over 40 learned societies and professional bodies in the UK, drawn from across science and its applications. Celebrating their ten year anniversary by highlighting the many different ways you can work in, with and from science, the Science Council are welcoming nomination to single out our great scientists through the compilation of a list of the “100 Top Scientists”.

The competition recognises the contribution of professional scientists across the economy and aims to increase awareness of the different ways to work in science. The ten categories of scientist identified through the first step of their journey were:

  •  The Explorer Scientist – on a journey of discovery “to boldly go where no man has gone before”
  •  The Investigator Scientist – mapping, understanding and piecing things together to set the landscape for others
  •  The Developer / Translational Scientist – turning knowledge into something useable by society
  •  The Operational/Service Provider Scientist – providing scientific services in a wide range of ways
  •  The Monitor/Regulator Scientist – ensuring our systems are safe and reliable to use
  •  The Entrepreneur Scientist – playing a crucial role in ensuring innovation happens
  •  The Communicator Scientist – communicating science to the public and trusted by the science community
  •  The Teacher Scientist – trained in science and sharing the knowledge with the next generation, combining science and pedagogy
  •  The Business Scientist – working in a STEM related business to business environment with a high level of relevant scientific and technical knowledge
  •  The Policy Scientist – combining science, technical knowledge and understanding of government processes to ensure legislation and policy has a sound evidence base

Which category do you think is the most important and which one do your life sciences heroes fit into?

As a member organisation of the Science Council, the Society of Biology is eligible to submit nominations. Individuals wishing to nominate a biologist should send the name of their nomination, the category for which the nominee is to be considered and a brief statement of why you feel nomination is appropriate including major achievements (maximum 1 page A4 typed) to by the 6th September.

5 Responses to More than one way to be a scientist

  1. Natasha Neill

    Deadline for nominations has just been extended – send yours in now!

  2. Flormexica

    It´s an interesting post, I think all categories are important, all of them complement each other. Personally I´m involved in policy and investigation focus in human and wildlife conflicts. In México it´s a importante issue to attend. Kind Regards.

  3. Rebecca Nesbit

    As I hear from lots of people who have filled in the flying ant survey, it is clear that they have the enquiring mind that’s needed for science. I think you can define being a scientist as a way of thinking, not just in terms of your qualifications or profession.