If we talk about science, the word “future” usually comes along. We always think about new findings and their impact, so it makes sense to think about the next couple of years. What we usually don’t think when planning our academic life is our legacy as scientists. This legacy is not only our research, but also the people that will continue and connect our findings to new ideas. These people are young scientists thirsty for new discoveries and connections.
Sounds right, huh? However, there is only one problem with this flow: it seems like potential young scientists are not aiming to have a life in academia.A brazilian group of researchers in a partnership with other countries (i.e. Italy and Norway) has been studying the interest of teenagers in the scientific life. And their analysis don’t look so good.
The study shows that persuing a scientific life is not in the plans of teenagers, even though most of them have interest in science. This data is very concerning taking into account that the future of science is in the hands of new young scientists. Countries in Europe have been facing and changing this scenario for the past few years. However, Brazil does not seem to be reverting the situation.
When it comes to legacy and contributing to science, the role of scientists is 100% to communicate – data, findings, ideas, etc. Most teenagers think science is boring or don’t understand the scientific career. Part of this is our fault. We, as scientists, forget to communicate well our work and end up doing research only for ourselves.
Schools and science teachers have been looking for new tools to use in class that catches the attention of students. Estimulating teenagers to make experiments, ask questions and think about the applicability of their findings engages them. The result is teenagers that discovered that science can be fun. More than that, connecting teenagers to the purpose of science evolves their personality to a more critical and creative character.
Most teenagers don’t consider the academic career because of a lack of knowledge about science comprehensivess. The idea of becoming a scientists is shortlisted to Biology, Chemestry, Maths or Physics scientists, disregarding that all studying fields have scientific careers to be persued.
On this matter, showing the impact of scientific discoveries in the most diverse fields can be a turning point to teenagers that feel connect to science. It can result in a new generation of young scientists.
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