Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Advice to aspiring scientists

We get all sorts of emails at The Periodic Table of Videos. In most cases we try to respond.

Recently a young viewer emailed The Professor asking for advice.

The writer asked what they should do to be good at chemistry and succeed at university.

I thought I'd share the reply written by Professor Poliakoff, because it's good advice for anyone.

The Professor wrote:

"I spoke to my students and they suggested the following things:

1. Make sure that you learn the material and concepts rather than just memorising them.

2. If you don't understand, always ask questions.

3. Enjoy it, it's fun!

4. Go and see your tutor or lecturer

5. Practise by looking at exam questions to help you understand the concepts

6. Don't think that you are stupid if you don't understand something

And finally one from me:

Don't be frightened of making mistakes. It's mistakes that help you learn."

Finally, here's an old video I did with The Professor in which he discussed his university days.


  1. how are exam result scales in the uk? did he got a 2.2 out of 10?

  2. I assume a 2.2 maybe be the GPA out of 4, so 2.2 would be a D-, one step above failing.

    But hey, its passing.

    You know what you call the man who graduates at the bottom of his class in medical school?


    So, same for chemistry.