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Types of Scientists

Scientists study the world around us using the scientific method. They perform experiments to find out how nature works. While we often talk about a person being a "scientist", there are actually many different types of scientists. This is because most scientists study and become experts in a specific field of science.

There are literally hundreds of scientific fields of study. We will just list a few of the types of scientists here:

  • Astronomer - Studies the planets, stars, and galaxies.
  • Botanist - Studies plant life.
  • Chemist - Studies chemistry and the behavior, properties, and composition of matter.
  • Cytologist - Studies cells.
  • Ecologist - Studies the relationship between living organisms and the environment.
  • Entomologist - Studies insects.
  • Geneticist - Studies genes, DNA, and the hereditary characteristics of living organisms.
  • Geologist - Studies the properties of matter that makes up Earth as well as the forces that shaped it.
  • Marine biologist - Studies the living organisms that live in the ocean and other bodies of water.
  • Microbiologist - Studies microscopic life forms such as bacteria and protists.
  • Meteorologist - Studies the Earth's atmosphere including the weather.
  • Nuclear physicist - Studies the interactions and make up of the atom.
  • Ornithologist - Studies birds.
  • Paleontologist - Studies prehistoric life and fossils including dinosaurs.
  • Pathologist - Studies diseases caused by pathogens such as bacteria and viruses.
  • Seismologist - Studies earthquakes and the movements of the Earth's crust.
  • Zoologist - Studies animals.

What is the difference between a scientist and an inventor?

In general terms a scientist is a person who studies nature and makes theories and discoveries as to how nature works using the scientific method. An inventor takes the laws and theories of science and puts them to practical use by humans. Many people are both scientists and inventors. For example, Isaac Newton was a scientist when he wrote about the theory of gravity, but he was also an inventor when he made the first working reflecting telescope.

Braille, Louis Henry, Patrick Newton, Sir Isaac Blackwell Elizabeth  
  Henson, Jim Obama, Barack Carson, Rachel Queen Elizabeth I
Chavez, Cesar Henson, Matthew Pascal, Blaise Clark, Eugenie Queen Elizabeth II
Chief Joseph Hershey, Milton Pasteur, Louis Cleary, Beverly Queen Victoria
Clark, William Hubble, Edwin   Cleopatra Ride, Sally
    Prefontaine, Steve Curie, Marie Roosevelt, Eleanor
Columbus, Christopher       Ross, Betsy
Cousteau, Jacques Jefferson, Thomas Revere, Paul Earhart, Amelia Rowling, J.K.
Crockett, David Jobs, Steve Roosevelt, Franklin D. Earle, Sylvia Sacajawea
Dahl, Roald   Roosevelt, Theodore "Teddy" Frank, Anne Sullivan, Anne
Darwin, Charles Kennedy, John F.     Thatcher, Margaret
Disney, Walt King, Jr. Martin Luther Salk, Jonas Dr Goodall, Jane Truth, Soujourner
Douglass, Frederick Khan, Genghis Seuss, Dr. (Theodor Geisel) Jemison, Mae Tubman, Harriet
Drew, Dr. Charles Lennon, John Shackleton, Ernest Keller, Helen Washington, Martha
Edison, Thomas Lewis, Meriwether Shakespeare, William   Wilder, Laura Ingalls
Einstein, Albert Lincoln, Abraham Snow, Dr. John Madison, Dolley  
Ferris, George Lindbergh, Charles Tuscagee Airmen Mary Queen of Scots  
Fibonacci, Leonardo Pisano Lucas, George Twain, Mark Mother Teresa  
Ford, Henry   Washington, George    
Franklin, Benjamin Magellan, Ferdinand Watt, James    
Galilei, Galileo Marion, Francis Washington Carver, George    
Glenn, John Morse, Samuel Wright, Orville & Wilbur    

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