Who is better, the scientist or the engineer?


Joined Oct 2, 2009
Scientists wear white lab coats. Engineers wear hard hats and steel toed boots.

Engineering is Applied Science.

"The Honest Truth? Scientists get Ph.D.s. Engineers get real jobs." —The Wanderer

"The difference, in a parable: A man and a woman are at opposite ends of a basketball court. Every five seconds, they walk half the remaining distance toward the half-court line. A scientist says, 'They will never meet,' an engineer says, 'Pretty soon, they'll be close enough for all practical purposes.'" —patmat



Joined Jul 18, 2013
I've known a few engineers like that. Incapable of internally visualizing, incapable of giving a drafter a sketch, and having them draw and redraw a design and eventually having to be told just exactly what it is that he needs to do to implement what they could not express in words. They didn't last very long.
I used to call it the ability to conceptualize, I knew a few that were brilliant on paper, but when it came to practical applications were a working a little in the dark.
Per A.E. below


Joined Sep 30, 2009
What exactly is you guys definition of an engineer? The old "British one" the one I call a mechanic? Never worked with a scientist but have worked with many engineers, the guy's that went to school and got a piece of paper saying they know it all. Most don't in my experience. Putting something down on paper or in a blueprint doesn't mean it always can be made. It ends up the guy actually doing the work, running the machines and turning the wrenches that finally gets things working. Your mileage may vary.


Joined Jun 5, 2013
Experimental scientists are both. I worked as a lab assistant for one of my physics profs in college. Most of what we did was engineering, both mechanical and electrical. Not to mention doing the job of electricians and plumbers as well.



Joined Sep 24, 2011
This ill-posed question is obviously a Rorschach test. Personally, my mind filled in the missing prepositional phrase as so:

Who is better at brushing their teeth, the scientist or the engineer?

And the answer, of course, is the engineer -- the scientist is more likely to be distracted by the mirror.


Joined Apr 5, 2008

Scientists wear white lab coats. Engineers wear hard hats and steel toed boots.
I am an engineer and I often have to wear labcoats when I am working in the customers lab.
There are other customers where I have to wear my safety shoes.
The use of the personal protection can be different on the locations I work.


Analog Ground

Joined Apr 24, 2019
I worked around quite a few scientists. I always said I could design something to be idiot proof but could not design something to be scientist proof.


Joined Nov 13, 2015
Without reading the entire thread...
The Scientist uncovers things that may be possible.
The Engineer creates a device or product that implements those possibilities.
The Technician takes the engineers hen scratchings and make thing actually work.