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HOME > PAST ISSUE > July-August 2012 > Article Detail

ESSAY

100 Reasons to Become a Scientist or Engineer

On our 75th anniversary, we collected 75 reasons. Now we've added 25 more

The Editors

77
Arlene Blum

Click to Enlarge ImageI became a chemist, as did all of the other three girls in my 1963 freshman chemistry class at Reed College, because of the inspiration of Jane Shell, our brilliant 23-year-old professor. Jane thought chemistry was the most exciting subject on the planet and so did we.

I’m so happy I studied chemistry and learned of the order and beauty of molecules. Chemistry gave me a logical way of thinking about and understanding the material world. I took a long break in my scientific career to climb mountains and raise my daughter. Now I am very grateful to have been able to return to science policy work and use my chemistry training to help bring good research to decision makers, in order to protect our health and environment from hundreds of millions of pounds of toxic chemicals in consumer products.

For me, science is like riding a bicycle. Once you learn it, it stays with you for the rest of your life.

Arlene Blum

Visiting Scholar

Chemistry Department

University of California, Berkeley





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