Multiwavelength Astronomy

Photo of Dieter Hartman

Gamma Ray Science, Dieter Hartmann

Life as a Scientist

As a scientist, I spend all my day thinking, observing, getting information, putting things together. But scientists work as a community, we are collaborative – a team. I depend on others to make my research possible. You can’t be a lone wolf with your idea out there. You work as a team with others who contribute to your research and challenge you. Scientists have high standards to live up to. That’s part of the professional behavior that comes with being a scientist, and it has to be learned just like any other aspect of science.

So science is a way of thinking about things, but it’s about feeling, too. Everyone I talk to says they do science because it gives them joy. Emotions are part of doing science. It’s just that science is done in a certain framework that guides us, so we don’t freak out and have unreasonable fights or something. But it doesn’t mean you take emotions out of doing science. If I have an idea or a discovery and I announce it, my adrenaline will be flowing. I will be very excited. And people will say, “Whoa, Dieter, this is great, what you have done!” and I will feel the same pride as a soccer player or football player when they score.

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This material is based upon work supported by NASA under Grant Nos. NNX09AD33G and NNX10AE80G issued through the SMD ROSES 2009 Program.

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reflect the views of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.