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WANT TO BE A SCIENTIST?
Actually, you already are a scientist! Any time you make an observation about the world around you, you are being a scientist. Any time you wonder about how something works or how it got to be the way it is (a flower, a bird, toothpaste) you are being a scientist. Science is about curiosity, asking questions, wondering about the world around you. Like many of the scientists particpating in Solar Week, you might be interested in the Sun or stars, or perhaps you are fascinated by lasers, dolphins or ring-necked plovers. Either way you are expressing a curiosity and, hopefully, asking questions in order to find out more about your favorite subject.
In today's topic we would like to focus on that curiosity and help you find out how you can develop it further to—one day—become a professional scientist, where you, in turn, can share the excitement of your discoveries with the world. We are necessarily focused on the Sun and solar science, but many of the same characteristics discussed by our participating scientists apply to all areas of scientific work. The enthusiasm and excitement felt by the solar scientists is also shared by physicists, chemists, astrophysicists, biologists, paleontologists, botanists, archaeologists, psychologists, oncologists and just about any other "-ist" you can think of.
To get the most out of today you should feel free to ask our scientists about their experiences and what it takes to have science as an occupation. You can get a feel for some of this by checking the online biographies, but perhaps you have some specific questions that you would like answered. The Solar Week scientists are there to help. Many women shy away from pursuing the physical sciences (like solar physics) because they see it as a male-dominated world. While it is changing slowly, the physical sciences are still predominantly occupied by men. You can change that! Science is inherently gender-blind: a discovery is a discovery whether made by Jack or Jill.