I spent the past couple of weeks helping a friend move across the country. While on our travels I read this post from one of the professors in my department at the University of Connecticut. The idea is that you can identify what type of scientist you are in a personality-test fashion, based on whether you are Theory- or Data-Driven and a Nerd or Adventurer.
The four types of scientists are listed below and are defined here by Virginia Hughes.
The Data-Driven Nerd
The Theory-Driven Nerd
The Data-Driven Adventurer
The Theory-Driven Adventurer
This stimulated some fun discussions while passing the time on the drive. I am definitely a Data-Driven Nerd. The part of science that I enjoy the most is running experiments in the lab. Though I do like adventure I usually get my fix through vacation travel on my time off, not directly through my research. And writing up my experiments for publication is my least favorite part of the process. My friend on the other hand is a Theory-Driven Adventurer. She is a political geographer who does her research in southeast Asia. I went to visit her last year while she was in Malaysia. A vacation adventure for me.
I thought that this was a fun way to think about ourselves as scientists and what drives our interest in the questions that we ask. And I wanted to spread the word.
What kind of scientist are you?