My Path Through Research

The Trials and Triumphs of Doing a PhD

Who’s a Scientist?

I always wonder what people think that a scientist looks like. Do they believe the typical stereotypes like  big unruly hair, zero social skills and white coats? Being a scientist (or at least working in the field) myself I of course see scientists as normal people. Anyone around you could be one and you couldn’t pick them out in a crowd. Of course unless they are looking intensely at some random object and they are over the age of ten :). But maybe that is my skewed view of normality being what I am used to?

One of the bloggers I follow in London, IanVisits yesterday posted an article about an experiments ‘done’ on school children. The children were asked to draw what they thought a scientist looked like before a visit to Fermilab, a particle research facility in the US. They were then asked to repeat the exercise following the visit.

While prior to the visit the pictures consisted of stereotypical images of scientists, following the visit the people in the pictures looked much more normal (You can see the results here). I wanted however to leave you with the pictures of one girl, Amy. This is what she drew before and after the visit (Before on the left, After on the right):

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Filed under: General, , , ,

3 Responses

  1. […] was dressed in a lab coat and wore a grey messed up wig. I guess this only helps to reinforce the traditional image of a scientist. But is that all scientists are? Mad, eccentric people? I would guess (or hope!) […]

  2. […] was dressed in a lab coat and wore a grey messed up wig. I guess this only helps to reinforce the traditional image of a scientist. But is that all scientists are? Mad, eccentric people? Identifying myself with being a scientist I […]

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