What does a scientist do?

Most discussions of science in journals, newspaper articles, television shows, and blogs like Science In The News, focus on results – what were the findings of scientific studies, and how do these results affect your life? These types of articles are critical for informing people about the new scientific advances that can inspire wonder or transform lives. 

What is often missed in this type of coverage, however, is the human side of science. Who are the scientists behind the results? What does it mean to be a scientist? How does science differ across fields? On a day-to-day level, how does science work? 

In this special edition, we will be interviewing scientists at Harvard, asking them to explain how they move from collecting their data to making conclusions about the world, what a typical day looks like, what they wish people knew about their fields, what advice they have for those interested in their discipline, and more. We hope you enjoy learning about the many different answers to the question, ‘What does a scientist do?”

We’ll be posting interviews throughout the year – check back to learn more about scientists in different fields. 

Malinda J. McPherson

Malinda J. McPherson is a PhD candidate in the Harvard University/MIT Program in Speech and Hearing Bioscience and Technology