Space science careers

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 participating in Space Weather Explorers 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 focused on the Earth and space 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 Earth & space scientists is also shared by physicists, chemists,  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. Our scientists are here to help!

Image credit: NASA

Role Models in Science

Diversity along dimensions of gender, race, ethnicity, religion, socioeconomic stratum, sexual orientation, ability, etc. is currently very restricted to only a few intersections of identity in the space sciences.

Role models have a powerful influence on the development of STEM identity (being able to imagine yourself in a Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics profession).

Here at Space Weather Explorers Week you have a chance to meet scientists who can expand your ideas of what a scientist looks and sounds like.