Un-boxing the engineers and scientists visual impressions.
Read this if you are an engineer or a scientist, read the one below if you are not:
Let me ask you this: have you ever had that conversation with a new friend, who is not an engineer or a scientist, that when he or she finds out that you are into maths, physics, sciences, somehow that person is irked by the idea that you are into those kinds of things? Sure, you have. It brought you into an awkward position of explaining yourself why you are an engineer or a scientist, when it is no longer necessary to do so at all.
There’s so much stereotyping for engineers and scientists alike. Those episodes in your life like the one mentioned makes you think why people think that way. There is that common perception among others that when you study mathematics, physics, and sciences, you are entirely just that. Or you are even regarded as unsociable and enclosed in the confines of a seemingly different world. And it even feels as if it makes you a little less of a human being.
It may not be enough for famous personalities Neil deGrasse Tyson, Bill Nye, Elon Musk, and Carl Sagan who are into science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) to break the stereotype and look at scientists and engineers as cool people, if not merely human beings. But give it a shot to make people be interested in you as a person and not as a geek or a nerd, because you know that you are more than just that.
Present yourself as someone with an idea and what you do as something that can change the world. To earn the respect and trust of the people, do not push your researches, inventions, and devices as political agenda.
Your ultimate mission as an engineer or a scientist to break the stereotype is to stop acting like the stereotype that they tell us to be. By doing that, we are bridging the gap between us and those who never understand the engineering and science side of the world.
Read this if you are not an engineer or a scientist:
Here’s a shout out for you: engineers and scientists are human beings, too! There so much more from us than tossing chemicals in the laboratory, grasping calculators to solve equations, tweaking robots and machines, finishing drawing plates, nodding to thick books, among others. We are not limited to those kinds of activities, but we actually explore dimensions which you can also share a piece of.
A certain study by Susan T. Fiske, professor of psychology at Princeton University, may conclude that scientists are seen as competent but cold and unfriendly. It may come to a point that you will encounter us to be that, but once we break out of that shell, we are actually fun-loving people. Give us a chance to prove ourselves in the most natural way possible and look past that geeky or nerdy side of us.
Engineers and scientists from around the world are longing for that acceptance to break away from that isolation. People in STEM also have emotional and social capabilities like everyone else does. The importance of this change in perspective towards engineers and scientists will help us understand each other better, and more importantly, yield relationships to answer the problems that the world is facing right now.
I just hope the next time you see an engineer or a scientist, and even those who are still budding, you know how to deal with them in the most appropriate manner. Do us this favor and together we can make this world a much better place.