Career in Science

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So you think science is boring?

After reading this, you may well change your mind! Everyday life relies on science and technology. As we make our phone calls, travel to work, school or on holiday, do our jobs or enjoy entertainment, we connect to invention, manufacture and science.

Science is not, of course, just a text book subject, but a way of exploring everyday life and the world around us, and these are especially exciting times for science. However, the subject mystifies many of us.

Science plays an important role in all types of everyday jobs. The jobs are described here by the people actually doing them. They may be purely scientific jobs involving research such as astronomy, applied scientific jobs in hospitals like cardiology or jobs in industry that rely on materials produced by scientists, for example, optics or dry-cleaning.

Some of the jobs have a strong scientific element to them and as such, entry is often with a first or even second degree. However, many also offer the opportunity to enter at a lower level and work your way up. But the range is awesome. You will find that science plays an important role whatever your area of interest.

Our first section At Work profiles six people working in jobs that need some knowledge of science. Some, like the teacher and the geologist, who is also a writer, need to be scientists in their own right. Others, such as the jeweller and optical lab technician, use products and knowledge provided by science.

Health – Here we start at an Institute in Cambridge where the stem cell leukaemia gene, which plays an important role in blood development, is being studied. We include a visit to a pharmacy in Northern Ireland and travel in the company of a medical representative visiting doctors in southern England.

In Food and Drink, the role of a microbiologist working to ensure food safety is explored and we pay a visit to a brewery. Current concerns about obesity and healthy eating are highlighted by a community dietician.

Industry, which relies heavily on scientific development, is represented by a material scientist working for a major motor manufacturer. We also take a look at the work of a Crime Scene Examiner.

Dedicated scientists love research. Some scientists researching sharks actually swim with them. At the other extreme, we talk to an astronomer working towards an understanding of the universe.

Under Resources a petroleum geologist describes the problems of finding new sources of oil and gas, together with a meteorologist and weather presenter who uses scientific information for her daily forecasts.

One thing they all have in common is a serious interest in what they do and a desire to improve the standards of the community. They are motivated by the very human desire to extend our knowledge of ourselves and of the world in which we live.

Modified: 16 June 2013

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