Question: What is the downside of being a scientist?

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  1. Great question, and a tough question. It really depends on what you value as a person. Science provides a lot of intellectual stimulation, a lot of adventure, and a new lens to see the magic of the world around you. But, it is a lot of work and you probably shouldn’t expect to become rich from it. I guess another way of saying it is that if want to become rich, there are easier ways of doing it than science, like going into finance and banking (though studying science will give you the skills needed for these careers as well).



  1. There are two things I am by nature: curious and a teacher.
    I always am thinking about things and how they could work more efficiently (I also could have been an engineer who focused on ergonomics) or just how they work. When I was a kid and something did not work, I often took it apart to see if I could fix it. That was before digital circuit boards ruled the day, and it is easier to understand how mechanical things work and maybe how to fix them. Sometimes just taking them apart and putting them back together fixed whatever was wrong.
    When I learn something new or have a new insight, I always want to share it. But sometimes, my wife and kids are the only people around, and they get very annoyed with me, and sometimes offended at me.
    I always want to correct inaccuracies in people’s understanding of issues, especially when they don’t understand science issues, such as organic food production, climate change, genetic engineering of plants, and the disproved link between vaccinations and autism (which has resulted in the resurgence of diseases such as measles and polio).
    This can offend many people, especially friends who think you are an arrogant know-it-all. I had to learn when it was important to share, and when it was not. I am still not always good at that.
    Sometimes my college students would get offended because I seemed more passionate about my science and their education than I was about how they felt (their emotional status) or about them as people.