The Making of a Scientist Questions & Answers

Hi Everyone!! This article will share The Making of a Scientist Questions & Answers.

In my previous posts, I have shared Questions & Answers of Footprints Without Feet, A Triumph of Surgery and The Thief’s Story so, you can check these posts as well.

The Making of a Scientist Questions & Answers

Question 1: When Ebright was twenty-two, what did he and his college room-mate do that excited the scientific world?

Answer: At the age of twenty-two, Richard E. Bright and his room-mate excited the world of science with a new theory on how cells work through an article that was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Question 2: To what does the author compare the publication of Ebright’s article in a scientific journal?

Answer: It was for the first time that the prestigious scientific journal had published the work of college students. The author considers it to be as special and compares it with making the big leagues at the age of fifteen or hitting a home run in the game of baseball, while batting for the first time.

Question 3: Why didn’t Ebright have much to do at Reading? What did he do there as a child?

Answer: As a child, Ebright lived in north of Reading, Pennsylvania. There wasn’t much that he could do there because he did not have any company in this place. So, he took to collecting things like butterflies, rocks, fossils and coins. Sometimes he even did star-gazing at nights.

Question 4: How did Ebright’s mother help him to further his interest in learning?

Answer: Ebright’s mother helped him to further his interest in learning by taking him on trips and bringing him telescopes, microscopes, cameras and other equipments that helped the young scientist in many ways. She also gifted him a book titled ‘The Travels of Monarch X’ that opened the world of science to Ebright and deepened his interest in learning.

Question 5: What type of relationship did Ebright share with his mother?

Answer: Ebright and his mother shared a very special relationship and were like companions. When Ebright was in third grade, his father died so, Ebright became the whole world for his mother. She took keen interest in his activities, spend every evening with him at the dining room table doing things together and bring home friends for him.

Question 6: What had Ebright achieved by the time he was in second grade?

Answer: By the time Ebright was in second grade, he had collected all the twenty-five species of butterflies available around his home town.

Question 7: Which book became a turning point in Richard Ebright’s life? How?

Answer: Ebright’s mother gifted him a book calledTravels of Monarch X’ that became a turning point in his life. The book told him how monarch butterflies migrate to Central America. This new knowledge opened the world of science to the young collector.

Question 8: Why did Ebright start tagging butterflies? What did he do after tagging them?

Answer: At the end of the book ‘The Travels of Monarch X’, an invitation was extended to the readers to tag butterflies for research by Dr Urquhart of the University of Toronto. So, Ebright attached light adhesive tags to the wings of monarchs asking the person who found it to send the butterfly to Dr Urquhart.

The Making of a Scientist Questions & Answers

Question 9: How did Ebright use the basement of his home to raise monarch butterflies? Why?

Answer: In the short collecting season that lasted only six weeks, it was a challenge to collect enough butterflies. So, Ebright would catch a female monarch, take her eggs, develop them through their entire life cycle and finally tag them and let them fly away. That is how he raised thousands of monarchs in the basement of his house.

Question 10: Why did Ebright lose interest in tagging butterflies?

Answer: Ebright lost interest in tagging butterflies because it was a very tedious task and there was a very little feedback. All through his tagging exercise, only two butterflies had been recaptured.

Question 11: Why did Ebright not win any prize in the county science fair when he was in seventh grade? What lesson did he learn from this experience?

Answer: Ebright showed slides of frog tissues under a microscope, whereas the students who won prizes worked on real experiments. So, he did not win any prize in the county science fair when he was in seventh grade. From this experience, he learnt that mere neat display of slides and tissues under a microscope was not enough and he would have to conduct real experiments if he wished to win.

Question 12: How did Dr Urquhart help Ebright to win prizes?

Answer: After Ebright’s failure to win any prize in the county science fair in his seventh grade, he decided to write to Dr Urquhart for ideas as the doctor had conducted intensive research on insects. Dr Urquhart gave him a stack of suggestions for experiments that helped Ebright to make many prize-winning projects in county and international science fairs.

Question 13: What did Ebright try for his eight grade project that won him a prize at the science fair?

Answer: For his eight grade project, Ebright tried to find the cause of viral disease that killed almost all monarch caterpillars after every few years. Ebright thought the disease might be carried by a beetle, so he tried raising caterpillars in the presence of beetles. Though the result of this project was inconclusive but still Ebright won prize for having tried this experiment.

Question 14: What was Ebright’s project on viceroy butterflies about? How did this project fare at the county science fair?

Answer: The theory said that viceroys look like monarchs because monarchs don’t taste good to birds. Ebright’s project was to see whether birds actually eat monarchs. He found that a starling bird would eat all the monarchs it could get and not the ordinary bird food. This project won him a first prize in the zoology division and third overall in the county science fair.

Question 15: What led Ebright to his new theory on the life of cells?

Answer: During his second year in high school, Ebright began the research on butterflies that resulted in the discovery of an unknown insect hormone. This eventually led him to his new theory on the life of cells – a theory that excited the scientific world.

Question 16: What was the real purpose of the twelve tiny gold spots on a monarch pupa?
Which project won Ebright the third place for zoology at the International Science and Engineering fair?

Answer: The twelve tiny gold spots on a monarch pupa were not just ornamental. Ebright with another efficient science student built a device that showed that these spots produced hormones needed for the butterfly’s full development. This project won Ebright the third place for zoology at the International Science and Engineering fair.

The Making of a Scientist Questions & Answers

Question 17: Which project won Ebright the first prize for zoology at the International fair?

Answer: In his senior year, Ebright grew cells from a monarch’s wing in a culture and showed that the cells would divide and develop into normal butterfly wing scales only if they were fed the hormone from the gold spots. This project won him the first prize for zoology at the International fair.

Question 18: What was Ebright’s achievement after his freshman year at Harvard University?

Answer: After his freshman year at Harvard University, Ebright went back to the Agriculture Department and did more work on the hormone from the gold spots on monarch pupa. Using laboratory’s sophisticated instruments, he identified the chemical structure of the hormone.

Question 19: When and how did Ebright get the idea regarding cell life?

Answer: When Ebright was in his junior year at the Harvard University, he got the idea for his new theory about cell life. It came while he was looking at X-ray photos of the chemical structure of a hormone.

Question 20: How did Ebright react after looking at the photos of the chemical structure of a hormone?

Answer: After looking at the photos of the chemical structure of a hormone, Ebright did not shout “Eureka!” or “I’ve got it!”. He knew that the photos also gave him the answer about how a cell can read the blueprints of its DNA, a substance that controls heredity.

Question 21: Who was Ebright’s college room-mate? How did the two of them work on the cell theory?

Answer: Ebright’s college room-mate was James R. Wong. They both toiled all through the night, drew pictures and constructed plastic models of the molecules to show how a cell can read the blueprints of its DNA. Later on, they wrote a paper to explain the cell theory.

Question 22: What could be the advantages if Ebright’s theory on cell life is proved correct?

Answer: If Ebright’s theory is proved correct, it will be a big step towards understanding the processes of life. It will be helpful for both the scientists and the mankind as it will lead to new ideas for preventing some types of cancer and other diseases.

Question 23: Besides science, what were the other interests of Ebright?

Answer: Ebright was a keen and brilliant student. At high school, he was a straight-A student, a champion debater and an orator. He took keen interest in public-speaking, was a good canoeist and also an expert photographer particularly of nature and scientific exhibits.

Question 24: Who was Richard A.Weiherer? What were his views about Ebright?

Answer: Mr Richard A. Weiherer was Ebright’s high school social science teacher and adviser to the Debating and Model United Nations clubs. He was all praise for Ebright and felt that he always put in extra efforts in all the activities. He was also happy with Ebright’s well balanced passion for butterflies as well as his interest in debates. He said that Ebright wasn’t interested in winning for winning’s sake or winning to get a prize. Rather, he was winning because he wanted to do the best job he could. For the right reasons, he wants to be the best.

Question 25: What are the ‘ingredients’ or ‘qualities’ that go into the making of a scientist? Did Ebright possess these qualities?

Answer: The necessary ‘ingredients’ or ‘qualities’ that go into the making of a good scientist are a first-rate mind, curiosity, and the will to win for the right reasons. Ebright had all of these qualities. He never lost the quality of scientific curiosity.

So, these were The Making of a Scientist Questions & Answers.

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