Science … It’s child’s play. We are all born scientists. Studies have shown that young children play in the same way that scientists work. They form hypotheses, test them, analyze their findings, and learn from their actions and the actions of others. I suppose then we can conclude that those of us who have chosen science as a career have never really grown up.
Some of us just keep digging in the dirt, which is where Todd Cook’s research interests lie; playing in the water with Sea Grant; solving puzzles, which is a big part of Ted Williams’ job, or taking things apart to find out what is happening inside—what Deborah Aruguete’s work is all about. We just keep doing what we have been wired to do since birth.
As “grown up” scientists, we often have to take on other roles. For some of us, these responsibilities include educating others about science. This can mean educating our own undergraduate students in the classroom or through engaged scholarship, like research or service learning. It can also mean bringing science to the community through educational outreach or bringing together local teachers to share the best ways to educate the scientists of the future.
As you read this issue of Science News, I encourage you not only to read about what we do, but also to consider why we do it. It is the combination of action and intention that truly epitomizes who we are in the School of Science.
Martin Kociolek, Ph.D.