Micro Life Zone
Asked by lfras55 to DJ, Kyler, Mia, Mick, Peter on 2 Sep 2013.
Keywords: hardest, question
Do you mean hardest on I’m A Scientist, or hardest at work?
If a question on IAS is too hard, I let one of the others answer it, we all have different areas we know about it, so probably between us we can answer most questions.
At work I get many hard questions, most of them too technical to explain here. One (a long time ago) was when some people had built a computer to process SONAR (underwater sounds) and it was so complicated they did not know how to write the programs for it, so they asked me to help.
The hardest questions are the ones where I don’t have the necessary understanding to answer. That’s usually because its not something I deal with all the time, so I might need to read some things or talk to people to understand it myself first.
One of the best things about learning to be a scientist is recognising when you don’t have the knowledge to answer a question, but learning how to go and find that information. It might be by talking to someone else, looking up information or by doing an experiment.
The more you learn, the more you realise how little you know. Sounds weird, but it’s so so so so true!
BUT, because of this training, I don’t think I stress about hard questions – I just consider them as out of my expertise and defer to others or go looking for the answer – that’s what scientists do! 🙂
That’s an interesting one. As Mia said, when I get a hard scientific question, I have learned how to figure out the answer most of the time, so I don’t get too flustered when I find something I don’t know the answer to (yet). I think the hardest questions are really not about science at all, but are religious/moral/ethical questions like “Why do people die?” or “Why do bad things happen?” To me those questions really are hard, and the answers that I have for them are not always satisfying.
The hardest question I have been asked is probably this one!
I get asked many hard questions as part of my work, but as everyone has said we are trained to learn how to work through a question, maybe conduct a few experiments and slowly come to an answer.
Unfortunately, I have no way of doing this for this question. Congratulations on just asking me the hardest question ever!
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