"[Our philosopher] asserted that he knew the whole secret...[H]e surveyed the two celestial strangers from top to toe, and mantained to their faces that their persons, their worlds, their suns and their stars, were created solely for the use of man. At this assertion our two travelers let themselves fall against each other, seized with a fit of...inextinguishable laughter"
-- Voltaire (1752)
Hello all. My name is Lu. This is a science blog, on a microscopic and astronomical scale (and a combination of both--extraterrestrials!). I'm biology student, pretty much in love with the universe.
Message for URL to my personal Tumblr.
Hi there! I’m happy to hear that you’re interested in the sciences!—physics and chemistry are two great encompassing fields that are very crucial to our understanding of the universe. But if you are thinking about straying away from it because of your less-than-average skills at mathematics, never fear!
Here are some comforting words from E. O. Wilson himself—an eminent world-famous biologist, well respected by many scientists today— he himself was never good at math, but he urges students in his Letter to a Young Scientist to never shy away from your passion or interests in the sciences simply because equations are more difficult for you to understand than theoretical concepts. It’s more important to understand the theoretical concepts.
But, there are a few things that he said which I somewhat disagree. You DO need math in every STEM discipline, whether it’s Applied Physics, Psychology, or Evolutionary Biology. You don’t have to become an expert at it, you don’t have to look at it everyday, but you do need to be able to see and understand. From my experience so far in the research world, the highest math that you need to become a good scientist is calculus. And of course, arguably, a little bit of statistics.
Here’s the thing. If you love physics and chemistry, don’t abandon it. Keep reading the books, and the papers, and watching BBC’s Wonders of the Universe. Always surround yourself with the things that fulfill you. You can never have too much of knowledge, as there is no such thing.
And as for history, well, history is important. I think if you enjoy learning about history, and about how we can use it to apply to everyday life, I would say go for it. Don’t forget, you DON’T have to choose what you do with the rest of your life YET. Especially transitioning from high school to college. If history is where you are most comfortable, then do history. But maybe tack on a minor in physics or chem. Education is within your grasp, and one of the great things about attending college is that YOU get to choose what you want to learn about. You can even choose to take a math course—to once and for all finalize the relationship you have with it. Then once you figure that out— perhaps in the first year or two, you can then begin to flourish in the field of your interest in your junior and senior year.
Who knows, maybe you can one day curate a museum, or an educational institution, or an observatory—with both your understanding of history and science, you can go pretty far.
But always. Always. Keep. Learning.