Solar Week - Ask a Question

Come here during Solar Week (next one: March 22-26, 2021) to interact. To post a question, click on your area of interest from the topics below, and then click on the "Ask New Question" button. Or EMAIL or tweet or plant in Answer Garden your question about the Sun or life as a scientist to us -- and watch for it to appear here.  You can also visit our FAQs (frequently asked questions). In between Solar Weeks in October and March, you can view all the archives here.

PrevPrev Go to previous topic
NextNext Go to next topic
Last Post 3/18/2013 1:38 PM by  Lindsay Glesener
 3 Replies
You are not authorized to post a reply.
Author Messages



3/17/2013 9:04 PM
    Stephanie M

    Do you scientists ever feel your competing aginst one another to discover something first, or to stand out among the rest?

    Terry Kucera

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    3/18/2013 6:18 AM

    Hi Stephanie,
    Yes, sometimes we are competing against each other. It would be great
    to be the one to make a big discovery and get credit for it. Also,
    people compete for jobs and funding.

    On the other hand, we cooperate with each other too, forming teams and
    working together. That is just as important. Most big discoveries these
    days involve team work on some level.


    Kris Sigsbee

    Basic Member

    Basic Member

    3/18/2013 11:09 AM

    Hi Stephanie,

    I agree with Terry - sometimes scientists compete with one another, and sometimes we work together. And sometimes, we do both at the same time!

    NASA satellites and sub-orbital missions are developed by teams of scientists working together, but each team competes against other teams to win funding. For small satellites, rockets, or balloon missions, groups of scientists working together as a team will write proposals to NASA to build an entire spacecraft or a rocket/balloon payload and all of its instruments. The mission proposals from each team of scientists are submitted to NASA and reviewed by other scientists to determine which team wins the grant or contract. For large satellite missions, teams of scientists write proposals to build an individual instrument or set of instruments for the mission. NASA then reviews all of the instrument proposals and picks the winning proposals based upon which instruments best fit the mission's science objectives and other requirements.

    Most of the time, these competitions are friendly. Space scientists are a relatively small community, so when NASA issues a call for proposals to develop new missions, people generally have a good idea of who they are competing against. Sometimes there can be bad feelings between scientists due to competition for funding. However, at other times, scientists can suddenly find themselves collaborating with someone who they have competed with before!


    Lindsay Glesener

    New Member

    New Member

    3/18/2013 1:38 PM
    I agree with the others that competition among scientists is usually friendly and positive. Another thing to keep in mind is that there's a whole lot of universe to discover! The Sun is the best-studied star of any of them, but there's still a lot we don't know about it. So there will never be a lack of discoveries. The trick is to find the right thing to study -- something that is scientifically interesting and can be well-studied within our current resources, or could be well-studied with some awesome new technique or instrument that we will build. This is where the creativity comes in. Unlike sports, for example, it's not just about being the strongest or the fastest to get to a finish line. It's about coming up with new ideas and showing that your idea is best way to do something (and then doing it!)
    You are not authorized to post a reply.

    Twitter Feed

    Scientist Leaderboard

    Name # of replies
    Multiverse skin is based on Greytness by Adammer