A scientist is a person with expertise in one or more of the fields of science. Scientists perform research and utilize the scientific method to form hypotheses and to establish theories.

In the Julian Bashir, Secret Agent holoprogram, Hippocrates Noah begins kidnapping scientists in 1962 and puts them to work on his laser project to flood the Earth. (DS9: "Our Man Bashir")

Someone who practices science on a pure theoretical level is known as a theoretical scientist. Once they a develop a theory, they leave its application to others. Starfleet's most experienced theoretical scientists were consulted on how to allow James Moriarty to exist outside the holodeck of the USS Enterprise-D. They did not find a solution. (TNG: "Ship in a Bottle") A scientist, in a broad sense, is one engaging in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge. In a more restricted sense, a scientist is an individual who uses the scientific method.[1] The person may be an expert in one or more areas of science.[2] This article focuses on the more restricted use of the word. Scientists perform research toward a more comprehensive understanding of nature, including physical, mathematical and social realms.

Philosophy can be seen as a distinct activity, which is aimed towards a more comprehensive understanding of intangible aspects of reality and experience that cannot be physically measured.

Scientists are also distinct from engineers, those who design, build and maintain devices for particular situations. When science is done with a goal toward practical utility, it is called applied science. An applied scientist may not be designing something in particular, but rather is conducting research with the aim of developing new technologies and practical methods. When science is done with an inclusion of intangible aspects of reality it is called natural philosophy.

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