The Whys of a Scientific Life: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

The Whys of a Scientific Life

1st Edition

By John R. Helliwell

CRC Press

120 pages | 5 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138389793
pub: 2018-10-11
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The first in the Focus Series on Global Science Education, The Whys of a Scientific Life examines why scientists do what they do. Working from a diverse background in scientific research, including academic departments of physics and chemistry, as well as the scientific civil service, the author describes the choices scientists make. Fundamentally, a scientist asks questions based on curiosity. In addition, the environment is very important. By influencing their elected governments, society itself shapes the scientific research that is undertaken by scientists. This book follows on naturally from the author’s last book, Skills for a Scientific Life, which is a how-to guide for scientists and those that aspire to engage in science as a career.

Key Features:

  • User friendly and concise, this text dissects the whys of science and discovery
  • The author has outstanding experience in mentoring science students and staff, and also in outreach activities for the public and students of all ages including schools
  • The final chapter emphasises the joys of the scientist in research
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction to ‘Because’
    2. Part I: Fundamental science

    3. Because we ask a question
    4. Because we make a hypothesis
    5. Because we wish to make a collection
    6. Because of ‘What happens if?’
    7. Because one thing leads to another
    8. Because we get criticized
    9. Because we referee other scientists
    10. Because something unexpected happens
    11. Because sometimes we have to interrupt a line of research investigation
    12. Because we want to tackle adventurous research
    13. Part II: The role of technology

    14. Because of technology push
    15. Part III: The wider research and work environment

    16. Because we wish to engage in a grand challenge or mission led research objective
    17. Part IV: The scientist’s inner self

    18. Because we wish to develop our skills for a better future
    19. Because we wish to reach to an end point
    20. Because we like finding things out ‘at the science bench’
    21. Part V: Communication of science

    22. Why do scientists confer so much?
    23. Why do scientists submit their research to a journal?
    24. Part VI: Science and society

    25. Because we can expand the scope of research with ‘Open Science’ bringing an improved future for Society
    26. Because a new or improved product is needed via industrial research
    27. Importance of the ‘Whys of a scientific life’ for society
    28. Part VII Fundamentals revisited

    29. Why is science objective?
    30. Because of data and peer review.

    31. Why is Science a joy to do?

    About the Author

    John R. Helliwell is Emeritus Professor of Chemistry at the University of Manchester. He was awarded a DSc degree in physics from the University of York in 1996. He was Director of Synchrotron Radiation Science at the Council for the Central Laboratories of the Research Councils (CCLRC). He has served as President of the European Crystallographic Association (ECA). He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Royal Society of Biology, and the American Crystallographic Association. In 1997, he was made an Honorary Member of the National Institute of Chemistry, Slovenia. He was elected a corresponding member of the Royal Academy of Sciences and Arts of Barcelona, Spain, in 2015. He was made an Honorary Member of the British Biophysical Society in 2017. He was the Kathleen Lonsdale Lecturer of the British Crystallographic Association in 2011, the Patterson Prize Awardee of the American Crystallographic Association in 2014, and the Max Perutz Prize Awardee of the European Crystallographic Association in 2015. He is the International Union of Crystallography Representative at the International Council for Science Committee on Data. He has published more than 200 research publications and two research monographs.

    About the Series

    Global Science Education

    Learning about the scientific education systems in the global context is of utmost importance now for two reasons. Firstly, the academic community is now international. It is no longer limited to top universities, as the mobility of staff and students is very common even in remote places. Secondly, education systems need to continually evolve in order to cope with the market demand. Contrary to the past when the pioneering countries were the most innovative ones, now emerging economies are more eager to push the boundaries of innovative education. Here, an overall picture of the whole field is provided. Moreover, the entire collection is indeed an encyclopedia of science education, and can be used as a resource for global education.

    Learn more…

    Subject Categories

    BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
    MEDICAL / General
    MEDICAL / Administration
    SCIENCE / Chemistry / General
    SCIENCE / Physics