What Kind Of Scientist Are You?

6 Questions | Total Attempts: 105

What Kind Of Scientist Are You? - Quiz

All the following archetypes of scientists, suggested in 1994 by Roslynn Haynes in her book “From Faust to Strangelove: Representations of the Scientist in Western Literature”, are a reflection of the public understanding of science and social perception of the developing technologies during different periods of time.


You May Get

Alchemist

The Alchemist, a mad, bad and dangerous scientist, seeking for the essence. This archetype represents the dark side of biological and medical science and the immoral obsessions of its practitioners and the most common indictment of scientists today concerning their inability to retain control over their knowledge. Of course, today, the alchemist’s cave has become the high-tech laboratory, but the scientist, with the obsessive desire of knowledge, is still widely perceived as powerful, frightening, and isolated figure, speaking a language and thinking thoughts accessible only to his/her colleagues and willing to open the “Pandora Box”. The most explicit example of the alchemist archetype in the western culture is Dr Faustus, the main subject of the German 16th century folklore and the protagonist of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe tragic play Faust. The character is based on the historical figure Johann Georg Faust, a 15-16th century German scientist. Being perceived as a magician with the inhuman knowledge, later in the legends, he was depicted as a desperate scholar, who made a deal with the Devil, committing his soul to eternal damnation in return for power and knowledge in this life. To explore further: Gothic novella Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) by Robert Louis StevensonScience fiction novel The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896), by Herbert George WellsPolitical satire black comedy Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964) scripted and directed by Stanley Kubrick  

Foolish Virtuoso

A foolish virtuoso, who is constantly putting himself and others under unjustified risks for the sake of science. In the western literature, this archetype is usually depicted as untrained dilettantes in natural philosophy, enthusiastically acquired expensive collections of freakish objects, believing that their cabinets would advance the great Baconian project of documenting all knowledge. Stupid virtuosos are caricatured as obsessed with trivial, but often a bad-smelling research while being totally uninterested in the study of humankind. The absent-minded professors, who often appears in a modern sci-fi pop culture, are descendants of the 17th century virtuosi scientists, presented as being madly engaged in their research that made them wear unmatched socks, never remember to cut hair, and remain oblivious to the danger confronting their beautiful daughters in the next room. Albert Einstein, with his involvement at a theoretical level in the development of nuclear weapons, become a prototype for the absent-minded professor. The image of foolish scientist has been widely used to ridicule the members of Royal Society who were dabbling in sensational curiosities, without any serious scientific purpose and pursuing useless, irrelevant and often disgusting research into topics with which no gentlemen should concern themselves. At the same time, they have been accused of the subjectivity in the decision-making process.  To explore further:  Satirical poem The Elephant on the Moon (1676) by Samuel ButlerNovel Book III of Gulliver’s Travels (1726), by Jonathan SwiftAn incomplete utopian novel New Atlantis (1624-26) by Francis Bacon 

Inhuman Researcher

The Inhuman researcher, the one who has sacrificed his/her emotions and human relationships in an obsessive pursuit of scientific materialism. The inhuman researchers have been criticised for seeing science being separated from humanity, denying the value of the emotions, and generalizing and abstracting individual experience.  One of the famous examples of such critic is William’s Blake monotype of Newton, where he criticises Newton for diminishing humanity to mathematical principles.Victor Frankenstein is an example of inhuman researchers, who sacrifices his human relationships in pursuit of science, the one, who rejects relationships with his father, fiancée, Nature, and even his own creation – the Monster. He is a personalisation of the naive optimism that knowledge will inevitably be for the good of all. The inhuman researcher the one who has the desire to be always the first to discover something new, by the meaning of voluntary isolating him/herself and sacrificing the ability to appreciate natural beauty. One of the brightest features of the inhuman scientist is the fanatical desire to complete a project whatever the human cost. The atomic scientists working on the bomb during World War II and then during the Cold War have strengthened this stereotype with their documented declarations of the crimes against humanity. To explore further:  Poem The Kingdom (1943) by Louis MacNeiceNovel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus (1818) by Mary Shelley Poem The Mathematician in Love (1874) by William John Macquorn Rankine

Heroic Adventurer

The Heroic Adventurer who towers above his contemporaries in both the quest for and the discovery of great knowledge, transcending boundaries of space and time.The image of a scientist as an adventure emerged when western society entered the era of technological progress and started perceiving scientist as a driving force; someone extending the frontiers of experience and transcending former limitations. The heroic adventurer, empowered with the right to dominate nature, universe or extra-terrestrial societies, has been often questioned the origin, necessity, and morality of this right. This led to the wide discourse on the myth of conquest: wherein the miracles of science engage with and overcome the miracles of nature. To explore further: Five weeks in a Balloon (1863), Journey to the Center of the Earth (1864), Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870), Around the World in Eighty Days (1873) by Jules VerneThe Time Machine (1895), by Herbert WellsThe Lost World (1912), The Poison Belt (1913), The Maracot Depth (1928) by Arthur Conan Doyle 

Helpless Scientist

The Helpless Scientist who has lost control of the consequences of his own actions and those of his colleagues. Viktor Frankenstein was one of the first images of the helpless scientists. The helpless scientist is a victim of his or her own discovery, refusing to foresee or accept responsibility for the disastrous results of the research. The modern helpless scientists are depicted as ones, who ignore the potential sociological effects of their researches and. In the 1900s the helpless scientist has been represented as an expert in the fields of electricity and x-ray technology. A decade later, in the 1910-20s western society has perceived geneticists as helpless scientists, performing their research blindly. This could be explained due to the social fears of the completely unknown potential effects and consequences of the research in the new fields. The time has passed, the ability to control the electricity or x-rays, during and beyond the research process, has been proven and society has changed its attitude towards these branches of science. In 1980-90s, humankind was worried about the consequences of the new field of computer science that has become a push for the emergence of a new subgenre of science fiction, called cyberpunk.  Each time period of the scientific development brings new fears, which are overcome as soon as it is proven that the technology is safe.​ To explore further: Science fiction play R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots) (1921) Karel ČapekNovel Gladiator (1930) by Philip WylieSatiric drama The Physicists (1961) by Friedrich Dürrenmatt

Noble Scientist

The Noble Scientist is a hero or a saviour of society, which is relatively positive archetype, in comparison to other existing ones, making scholars from small-minded pedant to altruistic idealist, seeking the common good. The noble scientist in the twentieth century is less likely to be a leader of society than a victim, protesting against immoral activities and refusing to do what was popularly believed to be his/her patriotic duty.The noble scientist is represented as a part of a ruling scientific elite, promoting long-term research with special emphasis on experimentation and amen power, which brings order, rationality, and structure to a universe that is considered to be arbitrary and chaotic. To explore further; An incomplete utopian novel New Atlantis (1624-26) by Sir Francis BaconThe Man in the Moone (1638) by Francis GodwinNovel His Wisdom the Defender (1900) by Simon Newcomb
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Questions and Answers
  • 1. 
    My favourite part of the research process is... 
    • A. 

      Preparation stage

    • B. 

      Formulating question of the research

    • C. 

      Overcoming challenges within the process

    • D. 

      Final results analysis

    • E. 

      Results reporting

    • F. 

      Experiments

  • 2. 
    What do you think about the need to communicate science to society? 
    • A. 

      There is no such need. Society has nothing to do with science.

    • B. 

      As long as it happens naturally this is ok, but there is no need for pursuing science communication.

    • C. 

      Science communication is an important tool in the hands of scientists and is a vital part of science in the 21st century.

    • D. 

      Science communication could be used as a tool to create impression scietists care about needs of society to avoid moral and legal issues, but indeed science doesn’t need such interaction

  • 3. 
    What is your favourite way to spend your free time/weekends? 
    • A. 

      I am a scientist, I don’t have free time! Even if I had, I would prefer to stay in my lab to continue my work.

    • B. 

      I usually go to conferences and courses to improve my skills and level up my qualification

    • C. 

      I spent my free time with my colleagues.

    • D. 

      I prefer to spend my free time in a harmony with a nature: hiking, camping, outdoor activities.

    • E. 

      Doing extreme sports

    • F. 

      Attending secret club to explore conspiracy theories.

  • 4. 
    If you had a collection of something, what would it be?
    • A. 

      Cold weapon

    • B. 

      Herbarium

    • C. 

      DNA samples of my ex partners

    • D. 

      Antique microscopes

    • E. 

      I don’t like to collect things, they are just a trash

    • F. 

      Samples of Uranium from the places I have travelled to

  • 5. 
    What kind of superpower would you like to have? 
    • A. 

      Invisibility

    • B. 

      Telepathy

    • C. 

      Inhuman knowledge

    • D. 

      Teleportation

    • E. 

      Super speed

    • F. 

      Emotionlessness

  • 6. 
    I see myself as a researcher as… 
    • A. 

      Critical, quarrelsome

    • B. 

      Open to new experiences, complex

    • C. 

      Quite irresponsible

    • D. 

      Calm, emotionally stable

    • E. 

      Secretive

    • F. 

      Isolated

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