I heard a speaker give a very clear exposition on a topic that provided some very useful technical information, but at the end the speaker apologised for not “being a scientist”. This is like saying “I am an ignoramus.” Why is it that people boast about not being adequate in science or mathematics? Of course our terminology has suffered from Americanisation so mathematics now covers arithmetic. It is particularly a problem for teachers when their pupils have been indoctrinated to eschew arithmetic, maths, and science by their parents constantly referring to their own inadequacy in these areas. We only have to watch children (even before they can walk) investigating, doing scientific research (which is called playing) with surrounding objects. Somehow they are de-skilled in this natural curiosity over time. As well, if children have their parents reveal their derogatory feelings over teachers, schools, learning etc. it is no wonder those children do not succeed in their education. Children model themselves from their parents, absorbing their culture, values, good and bad habits. If their parents swear, they will swear, regardless of good teaching. It is a form of child abuse to lead them to think it is ok to be ignorant of science and mathematics.
Science is knowledge. The word science has replaced the old term “Natural Philosophy”. It comes from the Latin scientia: knowledge, experience. The word scientist, came into use much later, introduced by William Whewell in 1833 at a meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Science for a person that was a seeker after knowledge and because scientific investigation was becoming a profession. This year, Whewell with Faraday, created the terms electrode, anode, ion, cathode, anion, cation, electrolyte, and electrolysis.
To be a scientist is to seek knowledge based on what is real. To be scientific is to use the rational methods of science to gain true knowledge.
I think that all people should become scientists.