- To give a basic understanding of who scientists are and what they do.
- To dispel some of the misconceptions that the general public may have
about science and scientists.
- To convey what scientists find appealing and challenging in their jobs.
- To present some of the skills that scientists apply in their jobs.
- To interest student viewers in possible careers in science.
About the Video
On Becoming a Scientist provides a look at the work, lives, and
motivations of three students and a lab manager who are pursuing careers
in science. During the course of these interviews, the video helps dispel
some of the misconceptions that many people have about science and scientists.
Interspersed throughout the video are comments from already established
scientists and people working in the scientific community about the reasons
why scientists do what they do.
The video is divided into seven main segments--There's Always One Last
Thing; Grades? What Grades?; Making a Difference; Cooperation is Key; Not
a 24-Hour Thing; Managing a Career and Family; and Making Movies. Each segment
focuses on one of the students and a particular aspect of that student's
life and work.
There's Always One Last Thing introduces Aneil
Mallavarapu. In this segment, Aneil reveals some of the qualities scientists
have, such as being patient when dealing with problems and unexpected setbacks,
and always being ready to try again.
Grades? What Grades? presents Aaron
Straight, who points out that a person doesn't have to make straight
A's in school to be a scientist. He also discusses why he enjoys doing science.
The Making a Difference segment focuses on Kirsten
Bibbins-Domingo and how her work at a homeless medical clinic allows
her to use science to contribute to and affect people's lives.
In Cooperation is Key, Aneil discusses how and why the scientists
he works with cooperate with each other.
In the Not a 24-Hour Thing segment, Dana
Smith and Aaron Straight discuss the types of things they do outside
the laboratory, and how those activities help them maintain a sense of perspective
about their work.
Managing a Career and Family returns to Kirsten, who is starting
a family while she is still in medical school. In the segment, Kirsten talks
about her decision to have a baby and how she thinks it will affect her
In the final segment, Making Movies, Aneil describes how he managed
to overcome his earlier setbacks. He also summarizes his thoughts on what
science is and what scientists do.
- Before viewing the video, describe what you think a scientist is and
what scientists are like. Then, after viewing the tape, discuss how your
impressions may have changed.
- Why might a person become a scientist? What are some of the advantages
of doing science? What are some of the disadvantages?
- What skills do you think that a scientist would need to have? Why?
How might each of those skills be useful to a scientist?
- Do you think you would like to be a scientist? Why or why not?