When does a scientist feel like a scientist?
That’s not the setup for a punchline. It’s a very real question that is a lot more difficult to answer than you would think.
When a child tracks the flight of a bumblebee from flower to hive, is she a scientist? When a school pupil gets a glowing report from the physics teacher, are they now a scientist? What about the PhD student crossing the graduation stage, or the medic holding the hand of an anxious patient, or the professor of climate studies presenting evidence to a UN committee – are these the official hallmarks of what it means to become a scientist?
If the answer is ‘yes’ – how does it feel?
If it’s ‘maybe’ – why is it not so clear cut?
If it’s ‘no’ – what's stopping you from claiming the title?
And for that matter, if it’s so difficult to pin down what it actually means to be a scientist, why would someone want to pursue a career in it?
In this miniseries, we hear from our students and staff about what being a scientist means to them, and why – though not easy to put into words – science is the place they gladly call home.