Some of you may have been wondering how watching birds (from weekend science fun this week) could be science. As I mentioned earlier, observing is an important science skill. Many famous scientists and inventors started out by observing nature, for example Leonardo da Vinci.

I have spent a lot of time recently thinking about how people become scientists. There seems to be a pattern that the interest is developed at home, usually from interacting with a parent or close relative. But a curiosity about the natural world also seems to be a factor.

If you have some time, listen to the podcasts at Ask-A-Biologist, or read the transcripts. The host of the series asks many of his guests about their path to becoming scientists. The answers are quite illuminating.