Hidden Science archive

Hidden Science was a mobile phone action – found within the Orange ‘Do Some Good’ app between April 2011-July 2012. Users were asked to submit their burning science questions via the app to have them answered directly by scientists, with all answers posted onto the Future Morph website.

Submitted questions had to related to one of the 16 different themes which included Space, Food, Sport, Medical Science, Earth Science, Computers & IT, Fashion & Textiles, and more!

When you hear the words ‘Business and Industry’ you probably immediately think of an office based job or working for a big power plant, but it is so much more than that. You could be involved with infrastructure, looking at the design and materials used to construct roads, railways and buildings. You could look into the management of aeroplanes and ensure they run safely and smoothly. You could even be working in land regeneration making decisions such as what happens to the Olympic Park after the closing ceremony of the Games this summer.

Buying, selling and communications are just some of the aspects that you could be involved with. Do you think you’ve got what it takes? If so, check out the selection of questions below to find out which area interests you.

Good luck and who knows, maybe you will be behind the design and build for the next Olympic stadium!

1. Should industries within the scientific sector be more innovation than profit driven?

Businesses are always profit driven, unless they are registered legally as ‘not-for-profile’ – i.e. something like a charity. If they weren’t focused on profit, they’d probably fail. Innovation can be a method of driving profit – provided the company is good at turning new technology into products.

2. Why are more companies not carbon neutral?

Many companies have little or no incentive: they generally only make an effort to be carbon neutral if it is in their interests to do so – i.e. it saves them money or because they’re penalised if they don’t. Although this may sound mercenary, the vast majority of companies spend most of their resources just trying to survive!

3. How can maths be used to predict business workings?

For a business, maths is used to understand and predict current and future cash coming in and cash going out. On a wider level it is used to predict the rise and fall of stocks/shares (i.e. ownership and value of companies).

4. What can be done to relieve business-related stress?

In my experience, people cope in different ways – there is no “one way”. I find that taking time away from the desk at lunch helps – going for a walk when the weather’s nice is ideal. Not getting too tired and knowing when to stop and take a holiday helps too! Stress is probably here to stay though – and some moderate stress can be a good thing; work gets done under duress!

5. At what age does the average person make a decision about what career they wish to take up in the future?

I think most people start to drift towards their career from about mid-teens or so – slowly narrowing their selection as they go. My impression is that there’s rarely a defining moment when a decision happens – and no decision is irreversible!

My own decision process was something like this: At 14: I didn’t want an ‘arts’ career, nor a manual career such as joinery/building. At 16: I chose technical A-Levels because they interested me. I had narrowed my career to a Technical subject At 18: I chose to study a degree in engineering – career more or less defined at this point. But even within engineering, still a huge scope of choice. At 21: I specialised in wireless technology – and stayed there for the next 3 or 4 years

Remember though that no career path is fixed for ever – people can and do frequently change if they don’t like what they’re doing even after years of working in the same area.