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What is science?

What is science, and why do so
many people enjoy being scientists?

If someone asked you the question, "What is science?" what would be your answer?

What is your mental picture of a scientist? If someone asked you to describe a scientist, what would you say?

Why do you think some people enjoy being scientists?

What do they like about their jobs? What is frustrating about their work?

Well, here’s your chance to find out what scientists say! We interviewed eight scientists. These scientists have done many things. Some of them have worked in the Arctic and in the Antarctic. One of them does research in the submersible Alvin, going down 14,764 feet (4,500 meters) toward the bottom of the ocean.

Several of these scientists use data collected from satellites. The satellites take measurements of many things on the ground and in the oceans. This view from space helps the scientists learn things about the Earth.

Many of these scientists study the small plants and animals in the ocean. These scientists often go to sea on large research ships. They have been in the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian, Arctic, and Southern oceans. Sometimes they are away from home for many weeks.

One scientist is an expert on snow and ice. Since he lives in Alaska, he doesn’t have to travel far to take measurements, either! Another scientist develops Internet lessons about the Gulf Stream and about air pollution.

Finally, these eight scientists are very interested in education. They’ve answered these questions so that the rest of us will understand why some people become scientists. They hope we will find out the answer to the question, "What is Science?"


Table of Contents

Notes for students/learners

Notes for teachers/tutors

Interviews with the scientists

Interview chart