350 Questions to Ask a Scientist

Ever wondered what goes on inside a scientist’s mind? Whether you’re curious about space, big discoveries, or the future, asking the right questions can unlock some mind-blowing answers. So, get ready to dive into the exciting world of science!

Questions About Their Research

  1. What’s the main question your research is trying to answer?
  2. Why did you pick this research topic?
  3. What steps do you follow in your research?
  4. How do you gather data?
  5. Can you give an example of a recent finding?
  6. Who funds your research?
  7. What’s the most surprising thing you’ve found?
  8. What were the results you expected?
  9. How do you make sure your research is unbiased?
  10. What’s the impact of your research on the world?
  11. How many years have you been doing this research?
  12. Do you collaborate with other researchers?
  13. What’s the most important paper you’ve written?
  14. Do you present your research at conferences?
  15. Are there any controversies in your research area?
  16. What’s a common misunderstanding about your research?
  17. How do you pick the methods for your research?
  18. Do you have any patents?
  19. How do you plan your research projects?
  20. Do you use any computer programs for analysis?
  21. What are the limitations of your research?
  22. What role do students play in your research?
  23. How do you decide which questions are worth researching?
  24. How does your research fit into the bigger picture?
  25. Are there any risks involved in your research?
  26. What’s the next big thing in your research area?
  27. Have you changed your mind about anything because of your research?
  28. How do you measure success in research?
  29. Do you work more on theory or experiments?
  30. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in research?

Questions About Big Discoveries

  1. What’s the most significant discovery you’ve been a part of?
  2. How do you know when you’ve made a big discovery?
  3. Can you explain a recent major scientific breakthrough?
  4. What’s a discovery that changed the way scientists think?
  5. How do you share big discoveries with the public?
  6. What’s a discovery that’s had a big impact on everyday life?
  7. How long does it usually take to confirm a big discovery?
  8. What role do teams play in big discoveries?
  9. Have you ever thought you made a big discovery, but it turned out wrong?
  10. How does technology help with making discoveries?
  11. What’s the most surprising discovery you’ve ever heard of?
  12. How does funding affect the chance of making a big discovery?
  13. Do big discoveries usually happen by accident or by careful planning?
  14. How do you deal with the pressure to make a big discovery?
  15. What’s a discovery that you think is underrated?
  16. How do ethics come into play with big discoveries?
  17. Are there any discoveries you wish never happened?
  18. How do big discoveries get their names?
  19. What’s the role of luck in making a big discovery?
  20. Have you ever been part of a discovery that became controversial?
  21. What’s the next big thing scientists are trying to discover?
  22. How important is international collaboration in big discoveries?
  23. What’s the process for publishing a big discovery?
  24. How do discoveries affect the future of science?
  25. What’s the hardest part of making a big discovery?
  26. Are there any big discoveries that scare you?
  27. What’s a common myth about making big discoveries?
  28. How do you celebrate when you make a big discovery?
  29. What’s a discovery you hope to see in your lifetime?
  30. Do you think there are limits to what we can discover?
  31. How do you ensure the validity of a big discovery?
  32. What role does peer review play in confirming big discoveries?
  33. How do you handle skepticism or doubt about your discovery?
  34. How do you collaborate with other fields for interdisciplinary discoveries?
  35. What’s the most unexpected result you’ve gotten in your research?
  36. How do big discoveries influence policy or laws?
  37. Do big discoveries usually lead to more questions?
  38. What’s the role of computer simulations in making big discoveries?
  39. What challenges are there in replicating big discoveries?
  40. How do you decide what to research next after a big discovery?
  41. How do universities or institutions support big discoveries?
  42. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a discovery?
  43. How do big discoveries get covered in the media?
  44. Are there big discoveries that have a cultural or social impact?
  45. How do you handle the pressure or expectations after making a big discovery?
  46. What is the role of public opinion in the acceptance of big discoveries?
  47. Do you think there are specific fields of science where big discoveries are more likely to happen?

Questions About Space

  1. How do you study something as big as space?
  2. What’s the most exciting thing about our solar system?
  3. What are black holes, and why are they important?
  4. Can you explain what dark matter is?
  5. How close are we to living on another planet?
  6. What is a supernova?
  7. How do you feel about the idea of aliens?
  8. What kind of tools do you use to look at space?
  9. What’s the biggest mystery about space right now?
  10. What does a day in the life of an astronomer look like?
  11. How do telescopes work?
  12. How do we know what stars are made of?
  13. How fast is the universe expanding?
  14. What are exoplanets, and why are they interesting?
  15. How do you measure distance in space?
  16. What’s the coolest thing you’ve seen through a telescope?
  17. Can you tell me about the Big Bang theory?
  18. What is the importance of space exploration?
  19. How do astronauts train for space travel?
  20. What’s the toughest challenge for space missions?
  21. How do you study something like a black hole?
  22. What’s the role of math in understanding space?
  23. Is time travel theoretically possible?
  24. What’s your favorite planet and why?
  25. How does gravity work in space?
  26. What can studying space tell us about Earth?
  27. Are there other dimensions in space?
  28. What’s the next big mission in space exploration?
  29. How does our solar system fit into the Milky Way galaxy?
  30. What would you say to someone who thinks space research is a waste of time?
  31. What are wormholes, and are they real?
  32. How does space weather affect Earth?
  33. What can studying space teach us about climate change?
  34. How do astronauts eat and sleep in space?
  35. Is there a sound in space?
  36. What are space probes, and what do they do?
  37. How does space research impact our technology?
  38. What are quasars?
  39. Is there a possibility of a planet collision in our solar system?
  40. What are some challenges of space photography?
  41. Can you explain what a light-year is?
  42. What are neutron stars?
  43. How is the climate on other planets different from Earth?
  44. What are space observatories?
  45. Is the universe infinite?
  46. What’s the role of artificial intelligence in space research?
  47. Can you explain the concept of a multiverse?
  48. What is the space-time continuum?

Questions About Their Work

  1. What got you interested in science?
  2. What’s the main goal of your work?
  3. Can you break down your work for someone who’s not in science?
  4. What’s the hardest part about your job?
  5. What do you love the most about your work?
  6. What are you currently working on?
  7. How does your work help people?
  8. What skills do you need for your job?
  9. How do you start a new project?
  10. What kind of tools or tech do you use?
  11. Who do you work with? 
  12. Are you in a team?
  13. What’s a typical day like for you?
  14. How long does a project usually take?
  15. Do you work in a lab or somewhere else?
  16. Have you ever had a project fail? What happened?
  17. How do you check your work to make sure it’s right?
  18. What’s the most exciting thing you’ve done at work?
  19. What’s the coolest discovery you’ve made?
  20. Do you publish your work? 
  21. Where can we read it?
  22. How do you keep up with new info in your field?
  23. What’s something about your job most people don’t know?
  24. Have you won any awards for your work?
  25. What’s the most challenging thing you’re trying to solve?
  26. How do you handle setbacks?
  27. What does success look like for you?
  28. Are there ethics you have to think about in your work?
  29. How do you explain your work to your family or friends?
  30. Do you ever work with people from other fields?
  31. What’s something you wish you could change about your work?
  32. What’s next for you?

Questions About Challenges And Failures

  1. What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your career?
  2. How do you deal with failure in your research?
  3. Can you share an experiment that didn’t go as planned?
  4. What obstacles do you encounter most often?
  5. How do you keep going when things get tough?
  6. Have you ever questioned your career choice after a failure?
  7. How do you handle criticism from peers?
  8. What’s a common misconception about failure in science?
  9. How do you reassess goals after a setback?
  10. Have you ever run out of funding? What did you do?
  11. What’s the most common reason projects fail?
  12. What’s a mistake you learned the most from?
  13. How do you handle unexpected results?
  14. Is there a failure you’re most proud of?
  15. Do you think failure is essential in science?
  16. How do you maintain your self-confidence after a failure?
  17. What challenges are you currently facing?
  18. How do you deal with the “publish or perish” culture in science?
  19. How do you decide when to quit or continue a struggling project?
  20. Have you ever faced ethical dilemmas? How did you handle them?
  21. What emotional challenges come with your work?
  22. How do you approach risk-taking in your research?
  23. Have you ever had to work with difficult colleagues?
  24. How do you handle rejected papers or research proposals?
  25. Do your challenges ever affect your work-life balance?
  26. How do you manage stress in a demanding career?
  27. What would you do differently if you could go back in time?
  28. How do you cope with imposter syndrome if you’ve ever felt it?
  29. How do you handle setbacks in collaborative projects?
  30. Have you ever been part of a controversial or disputed study?

Questions About Ethical Concerns

  1. How do you ensure your research is ethical?
  2. What ethical guidelines do you follow in your work?
  3. What role does informed consent play in your studies?
  4. How do you consider the environmental impact of your work?
  5. Do you think there are lines science shouldn’t cross?
  6. How do you ensure the ethical treatment of animals in research?
  7. Are there ethical concerns about data privacy in your field?
  8. What’s your take on the ethics of genetic engineering?
  9. How do you manage conflicts of interest?
  10. How do ethical considerations differ across countries?
  11. Do you think specific research should be restricted?
  12. How are ethical concerns addressed in collaborative projects?
  13. What’s your opinion on using AI in sensitive areas like healthcare?
  14. Are there ethical guidelines for conducting experiments in space?
  15. What ethical issues arise from commercializing scientific discoveries?
  16. How are ethics involved in the peer review process?
  17. What’s your perspective on the ethics of cloning?
  18. What role does social responsibility play in science?
  19. How do scientists address ethical concerns about human trials?
  20. What are the ethical considerations in dual-use research?
  21. Do you think ethics committees are effective?
  22. How does your field handle the ethics of data collection?
  23. What ethical concerns come up when working with indigenous knowledge?
  24. What’s your opinion on the ethics of using a placebo in experiments?
  25. How are ethical considerations changing with advancements in technology?
  26. How do you handle cultural differences in ethical viewpoints?
  27. Are there ethical guidelines for using drones in research?

Questions About Advice For Young Scientists

  1. What advice would you give to someone starting their science career?
  2. What are essential skills for a young scientist?
  3. How important are grades for a career in science?
  4. What books or resources would you recommend?
  5. What’s the best way to gain hands-on experience?
  6. How can a young scientist find a good mentor?
  7. What extracurricular activities would you suggest?
  8. Should a young scientist focus on breadth or depth in their studies?
  9. How can young scientists develop a professional network?
  10. What’s your advice for dealing with rejection or failure?
  11. How can young scientists identify their research interests?
  12. What role does curiosity play in a science career?
  13. Should young scientists aim for academia or industry?
  14. How important is it to have a specialization?
  15. What advice would you give about balancing work and life?
  16. What skills should young scientists learn that aren’t taught in school?
  17. How can young scientists stay updated on current research?
  18. How can someone prepare for the competitive nature of science?
  19. What soft skills should young scientists develop?
  20. How can young scientists become better communicators?
  21. How can a young scientist get their work published?
  22. What’s the role of internships or summer programs?
  23. How can young scientists collaborate with others effectively?
  24. Should young scientists also learn programming or coding?
  25. What’s your advice for handling stress and burnout?
  26. How important is public speaking for a scientist?
  27. How can young scientists become involved in community outreach?
  28. What steps can someone take to secure research funding?
  29. What qualities make a successful scientist?
  30. Any tips for young scientists to stand out in a crowded field?
  31. How do you recommend choosing a graduate school or research program?
  32. How important is it to attend scientific conferences?
  33. What’s your advice on applying for scholarships or grants?
  34. How can a young scientist effectively manage their time?
  35. Should young scientists engage with the public about their work?
  36. What role does ethics play in a young scientist’s career?
  37. What are some common pitfalls to avoid early in a science career?
  38. Is it important to have a “Plan B” in science?
  39. How can young scientists build a strong online presence?
  40. What’s your advice for a smooth transition from academia to industry (or vice versa)?
  41. How can young scientists get involved in policy-making?
  42. What steps should a young scientist take for a successful job search?
  43. How should young scientists approach job interviews?
  44. How can young scientists improve their writing skills for publishing papers?
  45. What’s your advice for maintaining a healthy mentor-mentee relationship?

Questions About Their Career Journey

  1. How did you become a scientist?
  2. What did you study in school?
  3. Did you always want to be a scientist?
  4. What was your first job in science?
  5. What mentors have helped you?
  6. How has your career path changed over time?
  7. Was it hard to find a job in your field?
  8. Have you worked in different areas of science?
  9. What’s the best career advice you’ve received?
  10. What’s the biggest mistake you’ve made in your career?
  11. What’s your proudest career moment?
  12. What other careers did you consider?
  13. How do you balance work and personal life?
  14. How do you keep learning new things?
  15. Have you ever thought about leaving science?
  16. What’s a common myth about careers in science?
  17. How do you handle stress or burnout?
  18. What’s the most valuable skill you’ve learned?
  19. Do you teach or just do research?
  20. What conferences or events do you attend?
  21. How important is networking in your field?
  22. Have you ever worked abroad?
  23. How do you stay motivated?
  24. What’s the value of interdisciplinary study in science?
  25. What role does luck play in your career?
  26. How do you handle competition?
  27. Do you have any side projects?
  28. Have you taken any career risks? 
  29. How did they turn out?
  30. What’s your dream job in science?
  31. What’s the best part of your job?

Questions About Their Hopes For The Future

  1. What’s the big question you hope science will answer in your lifetime?
  2. How do you think science can help solve global challenges?
  3. What do you hope the next generation will accomplish?
  4. What advancements do you wish to see in medicine?
  5. What’s your biggest hope for space exploration?
  6. What changes do you hope to see in scientific education?
  7. Do you have hopes for more interdisciplinary collaboration?
  8. How do you think science will evolve in the next decade?
  9. What’s your biggest hope for environmental science?
  10. What technological breakthroughs do you hope to witness?
  11. How do you think science can contribute to world peace?
  12. What’s your hope for the ethics of science in the future?
  13. What barriers in science do you hope will be broken?
  14. What’s your biggest hope for your own field?
  15. What do you hope will be the legacy of your work?
  16. What’s your hope for gender diversity in science?
  17. What improvements in mental health do you hope science will achieve?
  18. What’s your hope for the future of scientific funding?
  19. How do you hope science will affect daily life?
  20. What’s your hope for animal conservation?
  21. How do you hope science will tackle income inequality?
  22. What’s your biggest hope for renewable energy?
  23. What are your hopes for the future of artificial intelligence?
  24. How do you hope science will address the aging population?
  25. What advancements in transportation do you hope to see?
  26. What’s your hope for the future of food science?
  27. What advancements in tech would help you most?
  28. How is automation affecting your field?
  29. What’s your hope for the role of science in politics?
  30. Do you have hopes for public perception of science to improve?

Fun Questions To Ask A Scientist

  1. What’s the weirdest fact you know about your field?
  2. If you could have dinner with any scientist from history, who would it be?
  3. What’s the most “sci-fi” experiment you’ve ever worked on?
  4. Do you have any funny lab mishap stories?
  5. What’s your go-to “fun fact” about science to impress people at parties?
  6. What science myth do you wish people would stop believing?
  7. If you could invent any gadget, what would it be?
  8. Have you ever used your scientific knowledge to win a bet?
  9. What would be your superpower if you could have one?
  10. What’s the most “mad scientist” thing you’ve ever done?
  11. What’s your favorite science joke or pun?
  12. If you could name a new element, what would you call it?
  13. Do you have a favorite “guilty pleasure” science fiction movie or book?
  14. What’s your favorite planet and why?
  15. What would it be if you could conduct an experiment with no ethical or financial limitations?
  16. What fictional scientist do you most relate to?
  17. What’s the strangest thing you’ve found in a lab coat pocket?
  18. If you had to explain your research to a child, what would you say?
  19. What scientific phenomenon still blows your mind?
  20. Do you have a “eureka” moment story?
  21. What’s your lab playlist?
  22. What animal would you most want to study in the wild?
  23. If you could time travel to witness any scientific event, where and when would you go?
  24. What’s the coolest scientific word you know?
  25. Have you ever made a volcano out of baking soda and vinegar just for fun?
  26. What’s the most mind-boggling number or statistic in your field?
  27. Do you have any scientific heroes?
  28. What’s the most unexpected use for an item you’ve found in the lab?
  29. If you were a molecule, what molecule would you be?
  30. What’s the quirkiest scientific experiment you’ve heard of?

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I make the conversation flow smoothly?

  • Introduce yourself briefly before launching into your questions.
  • Ask open-ended questions that allow for detailed responses.
  • Listen carefully rather than think about your next question.
  • Ask follow-up questions based on the scientist’s words to go deeper into a topic.
  • Don’t interrupt; let the scientist finish responding before you ask the next question.
  • Wrap up by thanking them for their time and sharing something you found valuable from the conversation.

What should I do if a scientist uses too much ‘jargon’ or complex terms?

Simply ask them to break it down for you. Scientists often forget that not everyone is familiar with their specialized language. They’re usually more than willing to explain things in a way that’s easier to understand.


Now, you’re all set to spark a conversation with a scientist. Whether you’re curious about space, research, or just looking for some cool science facts, asking questions is the best way to learn. Don’t be shy—go ahead and satisfy your curiosity!

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Robby Salveron

Robby is a multimedia editor at UpJourney with a journalism and communications background.

When she's not working, Robby transforms into an introverted art lover who indulges in her love for sports, learning new things, and sipping her favorite soda. She also enjoys unwinding with feel-good movies, books, and video games. She's also a proud pet parent to her beloved dog, Dustin.