How to be a Better Scientist

how to be a better scientist

Andrew C. Johnson and John P. Sumpter
Routledge, £20.00

How to be a better scientist has been designed to offer advice both for those starting a research project, including topics such as forming a hypothesis and choosing a supervisor, as well as those coming to the end of a project.

One way in which this book really stands out is the way it is written. Science is often complex and convoluted but this book discusses it in plain simple English. It fulfils its aim well as it would be fully accessible to anyone wanting to begin a scientific project, including school pupils.

Reading this book as a final year PhD student, I found it helped reinforce my skills as a scientist. In particular, it is a useful boost to the confidence of the reader, encouraging you to reflect on the skills you have gained during your career to date and realise these skills really do improve your employability.

I especially liked a section in the "when things are not going well" chapter on one of the authors' own "failures" during his PhD. It really brought you close to the authors and made you feel like you are not the only scientist with experimental problems.

Overall, this book strongly achieves its aim and makes for a very easy read as well as helpful revisits. It would be beneficial for anyone undergoing a scientific project, from school pupils to PhD students and really does make you want to strive to be the best scientist you can be.

Natalie Lamb MRSB RSci