• Question: What is scientists most well known for?

    Asked by anon-216218 to Robert, Olly, Nicola, Jasmin, Dennis, Caroline on 16 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Dennis Relojo-Howell

      Dennis Relojo-Howell answered on 16 Jun 2019:

      Scientists are known for embracing knowledge, but still having a questioning mind. Remember Nicolaus Copernicus?

      During the 1500s, almost everyone thought that the Earth was the centre of the universe. But Copernicus challenged that idea, and offered scientific evidence.

      That’s the same for mental health and psychology – new knowledge and understanding will arrive, but you have to take them with a critical mind.

    • Photo: Nicola Johnstone

      Nicola Johnstone answered on 16 Jun 2019:

      Creating ideas that shape how we see the world. Psychology has some famous people for helping understand human behaviour – for example, Albert Bandura found out that kids learn by watching and copying what goes on around them.

    • Photo: Robert Dempsey

      Robert Dempsey answered on 17 Jun 2019:

      I think one of the best bits about science is that we focus on what the evidence tells us about a topic or issue, and that we try to test ideas objectively and will reject ideas/hypothesis if the data does not support them. This can be difficult and time-consuming to do, but this does mean that science tells about what is actually happening and is not simply based on what we think or feel is right (as we need evidence to back up our ideas).

      In terms of mental health and psychology, I think it is incredibly important that we understand people’s experiences based on scientific studies and also via qualitative studies (which may be less ‘scientific’ but are conducted in a rigourous way) to help us identify how we can support people to live well. Without this evidence base, we might be making things worse for people or not having any effect. Unfortunately, I am aware of some therapeutic approaches where the research evidence base is weak but these therapies are being practiced anyway – these therapies may not be helping or could be making things worse for people who are living with quite difficult mental health-related experiences.

    • Photo: Caroline Brett

      Caroline Brett answered on 17 Jun 2019:

      That is a big question.
      I guess it depends on the scientist but in general scientists help us to understand the world, including ourselves, better. Psychologists in particular help us to understand ourselves and how we interact with one another and the world around us

    • Photo: Jasmin Moon

      Jasmin Moon answered on 17 Jun 2019:

      I think when you say the word ‘scientists’ a lot of people imagine someone working in a lab with a white coat and test tubes.
      However, the term scientist can apply to anyone who is carrying out research to keep developing our knowledge and understanding about a subject, including Psychology and the human mind.
      Research Psychologists working in mental health might be trying to find out why some people are more affected than others, what treatments work best for certain problems and how we can prevent mental health problems occurring at all. These are all important things to understand as it helps inform what our doctors and other health professionals can offer us to make us feel better.

    • Photo: Oliver Clabburn

      Oliver Clabburn answered on 18 Jun 2019:

      Fantastic question! I think science is about thinking up questions, finding a way/solution to potentially answer the question, then let other people know about what you’ve found (or maybe not found!)