What Is the Role of a Scientist?

Scientists have numerous roles in society, all of which involve exercising curiosity in order to ask questions and seek answers about the universe. This involves using the scientific method to construct a testable question, make a prediction, perform tests and interpret the resulting data.

Modern-day scientists have a role in advancing medicine and technology through conducting applied research. There are dozens of scientific specialties, each with unique responsibilities and societal roles. Regardless of the specialty, a scientist’s primary role is to engage in systematic experimentation with a purpose of gaining knowledge.

A great deal of scientific research is done by applied scientists, whose role is to conduct research with the goal of developing a new technology or material that is applicable to situations within an industry or in everyday life. Applied scientists are problem solvers and aim to interpret evidence with a practical perspective.

For instance, earth scientists work to understand Earth’s history and predict climate change, while physicists work to understand matter and potentially create new materials for industrial use. An epidemiologist’s role is to understand and predict the spread of disease across a population, while a medical doctor’s role is to diagnose and treat individual cases of illness.

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