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What is it like to be a biologist?

Debate and discussion of any biological questions not pertaining to a particular topic.

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What is it like to be a biologist?

Postby walela12 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 2:06 am

So here's the deal... I'm 25 years old, and I'm going back to college soon. I've been debating with myself about what I want to be when I grow up. I love the outdoors. With a passion. I want so badly to spend every waking second outside exploring. Botony, geology, wildlife....

I guess my question is this: For all of you Biologists out there, what do you do? I've heard that most biologists spend a majority of their time writing grants, and that it's mostly a desk job. Is that true? Do any of you get to spend time outdoors doing your research? I'm really looking forward to your answers. Thanks in advance!

~Ashly
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Postby Darby » Sat Apr 30, 2011 4:09 pm

There's no simple answer to this. If you have specific wishes, you may need to fine-tune your path. There aren't a lot of opportunities for pure field work, which is what you sound like you want, but there are a few - some in academics, some in industry, some in government.
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Postby JackBean » Sat Apr 30, 2011 7:50 pm

for example, I'm never working outdoors :lol: simply because I'm molecular biologist/biochemist.

For the work, you're probably willing, you need to choose some carrier as zoologist or botanist or something like that. But even like that you will spend some time in lab and also at your desk writing some grants, otherwise you won't get any bread :lol:
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

Cis or trans? That's what matters.
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Postby walela12 » Sun May 01, 2011 1:49 am

Thanks for your answers.

I do understand that there would be some desk work and even some lab work. I have worked at veterinary hospitals that run their own labwork and I quite enjoyed it. That's not the problem...

Mostly, it's people who claim "I know a biologist" that tell me that biologists spend 90% of their time writing papers, grants, and other generally boring things. These people are the ones who tell me that a biology degree is practically worthless. Honestly, I'd like to hear that they're wrong and that I could, possibly, contribute to the scientific world. Any thoughts?
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Postby JackBean » Sun May 01, 2011 9:03 am

if you're supposed to write grants and papers, than you definitely contribute to the scientific world ;) Also, the degree, how much you must spend at your desk depends on your level at the lab, whether are you just some lab assistant or the leader ;)

However, question is, whether you really need some degree for the work you want. You should consider, what exactly you want to do and what you need for that.
http://www.biolib.cz/en/main/

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