Researcher cites curiosity and passion as key elements
Host Amber Smith: Here's some expert advice from professor Steven Farone from Upstate Medical University. What advice would you give to a young person who is interested in making a career in science?
Stephen Faraone, PhD: I would say that to be effective in science, you have to be somebody who likes the idea that they can ask a question, and they can get an answer to it. And they're curious about the world.
And I would advise people also not to lose their -- you know, young people, well, let's start with kids, right? Young kids are very curious by their nature. We know that from just, observing how they interact with the world. Unfortunately, as we get older, that native curiosity sometimes gets beaten back by society, which kind of wants to funnel us in this direction or that direction instead of making us curious about the world. It really just makes us want to focus on, "I want to get this goal."
And not that that's wrong. Some people are very goal driven, and that's OK. But if you want to be a scientist, you really have to be curious about the world around you, and to kind of b e willing to live with the uncertainty that goes with that.
Now, the other thing I will say is that you have to do something, you have to work in an area that you feel some passion for, that something about it just lights a fire. And it could be a fire that's lit for all sorts of reasons. It could be that you just find it fascinating almost from a puzzle point of view. It could be that you feel a real need, that you want to help a certain kind of patient, maybe because you have a brother who has autism and you really want to work on autism, or a parent with Alzheimer's disease. There's lots of ways that one becomes passionate about a field in science. All the people I know that are successful have some kind of passion that has driven them to do what they do.
Host Amber Smith: You've been listening to psychiatry and behavioral sciences professor Stephen Faraone, from Upstate Medical University.