Being curious is the first step to becoming a good scientist. Having an interest in the natural world also helps.
What is a scientist? A scientist is a person who conducts scientific research to advance knowledge in an area of interest. Scientists are motivated to work in several ways. They exhibit an intense curiosity about reality. Many want to understand why the world is as we see it and how it came to be.
Classical antiquity had no real ancient analog of a modern scientist. Instead, philosophers engaged in the study of nature called natural philosophy, a precursor of natural science. Though Thales (circa 624-545 BC) was arguably the first scientist to describe how cosmic events may be seen as natural, not necessarily caused by gods, it was not until the 19th century that the term scientist came into regular use after it was coined by the theologian, philosopher, and historian of science William Whewell in 1833.
I first realized that I was a scientist when I discovered fossils. I began asking questions to my parents about what they were. They gave me vague answers, so I began to study all I could find about them in my local library. The collector in me thrived, and science was an enabler. That childhood thrill hasn't left me. Each time I see something unknown, I need answers.
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