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Types of scientist (or mathematician)

I am interested in a recent paper from the Science Council. This discusses the different roles scientists have in society beyond actually researching cutting edge science. For example, I would feel strange about describing myself as a ‘scientist’ (perhaps in the news media sense of: “Scientists have discovered…”) but when I see the Science Council descriptions of “The Communicator Scientist” and “The Teacher Scientist”, I would happily be described as a “Teacher/Communicator Scientist”. This would mean I am involved in enthusing and training “the next generation” of scientists.

I believe a lot of people graduate mathematics thinking that if what they are doing isn’t at least as hard as third year undergraduate maths then it isn’t ‘real’ maths and, by extension, while they did maths at university, they aren’t now a mathematician. Even when what they are doing for a living is mathematical, it’s just not cutting edge research.

The categories are listed below and full descriptions are given in the Science Council paper “10 types of scientist – science jobs are not all the same“:

  • Explorer
  • Investigator
  • Developer/Translational
  • Service provider/operational
  • Monitor/regulator
  • Entrepreneur
  • Communicator
  • Teacher
  • Business/Marketing
  • Policy maker

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