C r a i g  D e F o r e s t
Solar Physicist
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

It's funny--most people don't have a good idea of what scientists actually do most of the time. There's an idea I hear from lots of folks that we just sit around talking to each other and brainstorm ideas about how the world works, or something. That's only a small part of what we do. I guess I spend a few hours a week doing fun stuff like that--but sometimes it feels like all I do is write software to manipulate data, or operate our solar observatory by remote control.

What really gets me going is manipulating our data about the world around us to find something hidden in the information. We think hard to come up with hypotheses about how the Sun works, but most of our time is spent testing a model or just picking apart the data to see what's hidden inside it.

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