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The Complete Picture

Ned Shaw Here at Snapshot Central, global headquarters of the Snapshot section of The Scientist, it's been a hectic year. After months of effort from the Statistics Department, the Survey Division, and the Graphics Group, we have analyzed a year's worth of results in our attempt to dissect, diagnose, and define the average scientist. And what have our efforts revealed? By combining responses of more than 10,000 scientists to 23 surveys conducted this year, we can safely conclude that the aver

By | December 15, 2003

Ned Shaw

Here at Snapshot Central, global headquarters of the Snapshot section of The Scientist, it's been a hectic year. After months of effort from the Statistics Department, the Survey Division, and the Graphics Group, we have analyzed a year's worth of results in our attempt to dissect, diagnose, and define the average scientist. And what have our efforts revealed?

By combining responses of more than 10,000 scientists to 23 surveys conducted this year, we can safely conclude that the average scientist is a well-rounded, talented, cultured, and very busy individual--a far cry from the stereotypically introverted, obsessed, uncultured, antisocial person often portrayed in movies and on television.

More than 50% of the readers who responded to our surveys ...

  • publish more than two papers per year
  • belong to at least one scientific society
  • are partnered with, or married to, a nonscientist
  • watch news, documentaries, and movies on TV
  • spend 52 hours per week working
  • have an affiliation to an organized religion
  • play a musical instrument
  • spent 4.9 years in postdoc positions
  • travel to at least one scientific meeting per year
  • prepare a meal at home at least once per week
  • spend 10 hours per week lecturing and mentoring students
  • read fiction and nonfiction books
  • participate in sporting or athletic activities more than once per week
  • have lived in more than one country
  • watch a movie more than once per week, with comedies being the most popular genre
  • are motivated by innate curiosity
  • vote in national elections
  • spend at least one hour per day on the Web

If that adds up to more than 168 hours per week (and we didn't ask about sleeping habits), it just goes to prove that an exceptional group of individuals reads The Scientist.

--Alexander Grimwade


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