• Question: how are you smart

    Asked by ease1tad to Abbie Y, Alexander DB, Alison, Erin P, hayleypincott, Martin M, Michael C, Michael S, Paul on 22 Feb 2024. This question was also asked by each499hub, news1fad.
    • Photo: Martin McCoustra

      Martin McCoustra answered on 22 Feb 2024:


      I don’t consider myself that smart… I’m just interested in what I do and can do it well. It helps that I’ve got a very good memory (though it’s not as good as it was).

    • Photo: Erin Pallott

      Erin Pallott answered on 23 Feb 2024:


      I don’t think I am particularly smart. I used to find maths and science easier than other people in school, but I found languages much harder than others. I worked very hard at school to get good grades, they didn’t come easily to me.

    • Photo: Paul Laurance-Young

      Paul Laurance-Young answered on 23 Feb 2024:


      Patience, practice and coffee.

    • Photo: Hayley Pincott

      Hayley Pincott answered on 23 Feb 2024:


      I’m not smart, I don’t think being a scientist is about being smart. It’s about wanting to find out the answers to questions. To answer these questions means a lot of hard work, reading research papers, books and knowing the right people to ask.

    • Photo: Alison Benn

      Alison Benn answered on 23 Feb 2024:


      I know someone to ask for help! It is not about what I know, but about knowing someone who does know. Friends and colleagues are very important.

    • Photo: Michael C Macey

      Michael C Macey answered on 26 Feb 2024:


      I agree with Hayley that I don’t consider myself smart and that science is less about being smart than being driven – I am just a specialist who spent a very long time studying a topic (sciences in high school), specialised a bit (Biology for undergrad), specialised a bit more (PhD in microbiology) and then a little bit more (microbes that are specifically in extreme environments).

      I think with the training anyone could do what I do but they would have to want to – I find what I do super interesting but a lot of people may not so given how much work it is they may not want to.

      I also struggled a lot in school when I was young and didn’t start reading until a late age, and that was only thanks to the persistence of my parents (one ex-merchant navy sailor and a charity shop manager) – they had to balance work with raising two kids as well as helping me learn these essential things so they may be better to ask how they are smart 🙂

    • Photo: Alexander De Bruin

      Alexander De Bruin answered on 26 Feb 2024:


      there are parts of my brain that could be thought of as “smart” (naturally fairly good at maths & physics), which was a combination of how I was born and how I was raised. I would echo the other comments in saying that I often don’t feel smart, but I am good at doing what I do

    • Photo: Michael Schubert

      Michael Schubert answered on 26 Feb 2024:


      Intelligence itself is partly genetic and partly about your environment (how you were raised, how much learning you did when you were young, and things like that). I don’t think you need to be “smart” for a job in science (or anything else you want to do), though. I just think you need to be interested and motivated. Hard work is as good as – or maybe even better than – natural talent!

    • Photo: Abbie Young

      Abbie Young answered on 6 Mar 2024:


      I wouldn’t say that I am very smart. I just enjoy the area that I work in, so I am interested in what I am learning. This makes the learning a lot easier, as I want to learn more!

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