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November 24, 2002

Why Scientists Suffer.

Okay, this is a theory in the gestation phase, but I thought it would be interesting to find out what people thought about it.

You go to school in the UK, and you study a whole bunch of subjects up until the age of 16. It's a mixture of arts, languages, sciences, humanities blah blah. All of which you accept and get on with until you've done your O levels/GCSEs/Superplusgood levels.

And then, when it comes to 6th form, in general, you split.

You're either an artist, or a scientist.

If you're a scientist, chances are you'll be focussed around either Maths or Chemistry. You'll gain a great understanding of tools and systems, and how to break down problems into manageable chunks.

If you did arts, you'll pick up the bits of this you need as you go along. You can't write a 30,000 word essay with only one idea to back it up.

However, if you did arts, you'll find one truth that no-one tells you about on the other side.

It's most likely that you got it in English, where it was one of the key aspects of the course. But it may be that it came from History, or Politics, or any one of a number of similar subjects. And it's this.


People say things, and may mean something else.

Some of you reading this may think "dur, yeah, what's so strange about that?" But then you're probably part of that latter tribe.

Noone tells scientists this, and as a result, they are used to living entirely at the surface. Why would anybody say something that's different from what they meant?

No wonder life seems so confusing.

Posted by Tom Dolan at November 24, 2002 12:47 AM

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I have to say it's different in Scottish schools where you can maintain a balance between science and the arts right up to University and indeed in some Universities into the first year.

Posted by: Euan at November 24, 2002 12:08 PM

That'll be why most English inventors are actually Scottish then. :-)

BTW, although you can, does that mean people *do*?

Posted by: Tom at November 24, 2002 11:40 PM

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