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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

99
Mary Schweitzer

Click to Enlarge ImageScience was not something girls did when I was growing up, and I had no expectations of career other than a teacher, nurse or secretary. But my dad was a true scholar who ignited my curiosity by reading and discussing with me everything from politics and religion to science. From him I learned to think critically and question everything. My brother taught me to read before he left for college when I was five, and fed my curiosity by sending books home from school. From him I learned to love dinosaurs and biology. But no one really “did” dinosaurs for a career, and I chose other directions until I returned to college when my children were small. My first class with noted paleontologist Jack Horner reignited my love for dinosaurs. But my kids set the direction of my unusual approach to paleontology: Because I didn’t have the option of doing frequent field research, I took my love of biology and dinosaurs into the lab. I can relate just about any biological question (human health, global warming…) to dinosaurs, and firmly believe that their biology has much to say about our own, and about the world we inherited from them. Capitalizing on public fascination with dinosaurs is also a powerful tool to offset increasing scientific illiteracy in the United States. All roads really do lead to dinosaurs!

Mary Schweitzer

Associate Professor of Marine, Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

North Carolina State University




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