Science!!! We love it, and love to hate it!?!

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    Sep 26, 2007 2:03 AM GMT
    So I'm sitting in the library...I had six hours of labratory and lecture today, four hours of lab write-up and homework last night...practically no sleep in the last few nights, and probably no sleep tonight...and I'm still excited.

    So here's my question: why is it those of you fine gentlemen out there who work/study/revel in the scientific subjects do what you do? What about your chosen field grabs at you and just doesn't let go? What got you started?

    I look forward to reading these answers while I'm up all night! So keep 'em coming! please...
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    Sep 26, 2007 2:08 AM GMT
    Definitely love it. Biology major in undergrad, went to med school, now practicing. This is a great route to go if you like science and working with people. In spite of the many difficulties in medicine today, I wouldn't do anything else.
  • Salubrious

    Posts: 420

    Sep 26, 2007 2:27 AM GMT
    Love it... sorta miss being a pre-med and bio student.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Sep 26, 2007 4:08 AM GMT
    Well, I'm PhD student in evolutionary biology. What I love is finding out things which currently aren't known, which can be tested, and thus which we have a legitimate reason to think are true if they withstand the challenges thrown at them. I also love that in the sciences there are correct and incorrect answers, rather than only having interpretations. There's still so much we don't know in biology, but which we can find out through a few experiments.

    Also, well, I'm totally unsuited to life outside of academia. I need the ability to have teaching be a significant component of my long-term job. Such a setting has certain other perks too--though it'll be less fun during the winter, there's something to be said for working in a place where on a warm day a lot of very fit men in their early 20s run around without their shirts on.
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    Sep 26, 2007 4:32 AM GMT
    There are a lot of biology guys out there, does no one champion chemistry or anything? Personally, I'm not the biggest fan of bio, haha.
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    Sep 26, 2007 4:38 AM GMT
    I don't enjoy chemistry as much as biology. It's not so superficially and immediately pertinent to the world around you. Even with the labs, chemistry doesn't stimulate as much until you use it in a lab doing graduate research, internships, etc.
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    Sep 26, 2007 4:44 AM GMT
    All sciences interest me. In my first two years of college, I had astronomy (+ lab) and chemistry (+ lab), and I also took physics, biology, environmental science, and chemistry in high school.

    Biology & astronomy were (& still are) especially interesting for me because they explain how things work. I have always been the kind of person who wants to know "why things do the things they do" and science provides those explanations. Its more meaningful for me to educate myself about things that have real-life applications. Math, English, and History just can't offer that.
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    Sep 26, 2007 4:55 AM GMT
    Chemistry is crap. I like physics best. I like the possibility of trying to uncover the true nature of things. Why should there be constants? Why should things follow this equation and not that one? Ideally there should be some non-arbitrary reason for all that goes on, and finding it could be seen as uncovering God. Granted, not in my lifetime, but eventually. It's fun to learn though. Plus it changes how you see things. Ever since learning the details of the fine structure of atoms, for example, I don't see materials around me the same as before. Ever since learning statistical mechanics I don't see properties of materials as constant any more yet I understand why they appear to be so. It's fun stuff icon_smile.gif
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    Sep 26, 2007 4:59 AM GMT
    I love science. Particularly, the science of bodybuilding. Unfortunately, by definition, competitive bodybuilding (in its current state) is illegal.

    Even though there is no (none, zero, zilch, notta') evidence saying that anti-aging is harmful (in fact, most evidence is to the contrary) the war on androgens continues.

    Instead, we eat McDonald's and gulp down statins (which kill the liver and wreck muscle).

    If we were truly interested in saving lives, we'd outlaw fat people, but, then, that would be science at work.

    Instead, in The South, in particular, false belief systems prevail, and the weak-minded rule the land. Go figure.

    Such is life.
  • MSUBioNerd

    Posts: 1813

    Sep 26, 2007 5:01 AM GMT
    Actually, I find chemistry a lot simpler than biology. It's more of a closed system. We understand so much that you can learn basic principles and apply them to novel situations. In biology, you more often learn lots of discrete facts and hope for a gestalt impression of principles. But, that being said, the ease of understanding something doesn't always translate into the fun of researching it.

    Also, I know of at least one hot chemist on this site. Let's see if he weighs in. ;)
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    Sep 26, 2007 5:01 AM GMT
    I am a meteorologist, whose speciality is the study of severe, particularly tornadic, storms. I have to say that I am living my dream, in terms of a profession. I have aimed for this since I was a kid and I am doing exactly what I wanted to do...

    ...I love the structured thinking involved in being a good scientist. I also love the unambiguous dislike of manufactured logic, or facts, that people use to disguise their opinions.

    Yes, I understand that scientists can be accused of being unsubtle, untactful, and unemotional. But, curiously, most scientists that I associate with are very subtle, tactful, and emotionial people.

    Anyway, from a Lionel Weather Station that I received as a kid...to a profession. It's been quite a ride.

    John
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    Sep 26, 2007 5:17 AM GMT
    I spent 11 years in commercial broadcast news. I grew up on a 3000 acre ranch in North Central Nebraska. I love watching storms.

    If I had the money, and fewer other interests, I'd be a storm chaser.
  • OutOfEden

    Posts: 100

    Sep 26, 2007 5:21 AM GMT
    Do you count Social Sciences? I'm Sociology/Psychology/Criminal Justice as of this semester... Kind of in transition. I love it because it details with human behavior, the most unnatural thing on this planet.
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    Sep 26, 2007 5:21 AM GMT
    HBSc in Biology and now doing an MSc in Human Bio and Nutritional Sciences.
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    Sep 26, 2007 6:07 AM GMT
    Growing up my parents always made sure I had chemistry sets, electronics kits, microscopes, geology sets, etc. Whatever gives a child a sense of curiosity and wonder, I had an overdose of it. I always took things apart growing up, and my closet was a graveyard of appliances and electronics. Inanimate objects must have feared me walking down the aisle of the electronics and appliance store .. lol. Growing older cars gave me a lot of technical challenge too.

    In college, I switched from chemistry/physics, to math, and then settled on computer science. I could have easily had a dual degree in math and computer science but was tired of school due to other things I was going through at the time.

    But I have always loved learning and gravitated towards both science and art. I think I just like structure and science and art both provide that. I find though that as I grow older I am drawn to non structure and nature which is openness and freedom. I think my mind is always seeking balance and the more I bury myself in knowledge the more I need to "dissolve" myself watching the ocean, walking through a forest, enjoying the spaciousness of the desert, or losing myself in the arms of a lover.
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    Sep 26, 2007 8:52 AM GMT
    I did the microscropes, the chemistry sets, and The Hoppidity Hop (does anyone know what that was)...now...I make the magic of The Internet...hee hee.
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    Sep 26, 2007 9:12 AM GMT
    See, it's 2:11 A.M. and I'm still writing a paper...no bueno. College is tiring at times.

    I'm liking the stories though, just read a few.
  • GQjock

    Posts: 11649

    Sep 26, 2007 10:01 AM GMT
    I have loved Science from the time I remember I did a little book report in the third grade about bats
    ... went on to undergrad in Bio with a chem minor
    TA'ed in organic chemistry
    I loved finding out how life worked on both a chemical and on a physiological level
    I graduated into med school and practice today but I'm still a voracious reader about anything that has to do with science
  • Warren

    Posts: 99

    Sep 26, 2007 11:58 AM GMT
    The class that finally got me fully hooked into science was immunology. I don't know if it was the teacher, but the subject totally clicked with me and I understood it incredibly well. I've always been a science geek, but more biology than anything, now I'm in med school, and the human body always amazes me with its complexity and, sometimes, how elegant it is. If I hadn't gotten into med school, i'd have gone for my Masters in immunology.
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    Sep 26, 2007 12:40 PM GMT
    RuneChemistry is crap. I like physics best.


    Crap, you say? LOL I despised (and still despise) Physics with the fiery passion of a thousand suns.

    I think that many people have negative misconceptions about Chemistry because it's a subject which requires strong math skills, it requires independent thought (most people are completely unable to take a broad concept and apply that on a focused scale ... Take the bromination of an alkene and apply that to the bromination of 2,2-dimethyl-6-octene. I get looks of fear and confusion), and the ability to visualize molecules (few people are able to think in 3D). Most people are sadly lacking in all areas and they're unwilling to rectify those problems. You need to have a grasp on the alphabet before you try to read War and Peace.

    I loved Chemistry after my high school Chemistry class. I had a wonderful teacher and I was hooked because it was hands on and seemed much more practical than Biology or Physics. A + B --> C! Biology seemed to be a course where you had to memorize all of sorts of concepts that you could never actually see in action.

    I'm now teaching Organic Chemistry and half of the battle in teaching the subject is overcoming all of the negativity that people have because of their previous Chemistry instructors. No doubt ... there are HORRIBLE lecturers (I know ... I see many of them on a daily basis), but there are instructors who know what they're talking about. =)

    Nick
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    Sep 26, 2007 1:07 PM GMT
    Someone once told me that chemistry is just smelly physics.

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    Sep 26, 2007 1:12 PM GMT
    Someone once told me that Physics was created to explain all of the abstract Chemistry concepts that were impossible to test. =)
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    Sep 26, 2007 1:17 PM GMT
    My problem with chemistry isn't math skills, as physics tends to require even more. It's just the domain of study. Physics is the most fundamental of sciences, making it incredibly interesting since you get understanding of the world on a much deeper and much more general level than any of the other sciences. Biology on the other hand is less fundamental than chemistry and physics, but studies systems that are incredibly interesting (life!). Chemistry is not fundamental enough to be better than physics, it is just a derivative of physics really. There's nothing in chemistry that you can't "theoretically" (but clearly, not practically) predict by using physics. Yet the systems it studies are nowhere near as interesting as Bio either. Basically it has the two bad qualities of both physics and bio without any of the good.

    The only interesting chemistry is Biochemistry which was actually quite fun when I took it. But that's mainly because it gives a fairly deep understanding on many biology related processes, much more than I've gotten from any biology course anyways.
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    Sep 26, 2007 1:19 PM GMT
    QUOTE:Someone once told me that Physics was created to explain all of the abstract Chemistry concepts that were impossible to test. =)


    Chemistry is what happens when physicists don't want to be bothered by people nagging them for "applications." Just hire a chemist and throw him your old shit and tell him to do some crap with it while you go off exploring somewhere else icon_twisted.gif
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    Sep 26, 2007 1:21 PM GMT
    Oddly, for having not been a science major, I have loved all of the sciences - chemistry, physics, biology. I especially love how, if you stand far enough back, you see how they all tie together like a Beethoven symphony.

    Given my career, I especially love computer science. It's one of my favorite sections of The Economist. And being married to a doctor, I get my fill of medical text books and journals.

    And certainly there's the history of science - great drama in those wacky scientists trying to unlock the mysteries!