Advice for young scientists — and curious people in general

The Nobel Prize-winning biologist Peter Medawar published "Advice to a Young Scientist" in 1979. Here are some of Medawar’s key insights from the book.

Editor's note: This article, which is a selection of quotes from "Advice to a Young Scientists" coupled with commentary from Farnam Street staff, originally ran in May 2021 on the Farnam Street blog. It is reprinted here in its entirety with the gracious permission of Farnam Street.

The Nobel Prize-winning biologist Peter Medawar (1915–1987) is best known for work that made the first organ transplants and skin grafts possible. Medawar was also a lively, witty writer who penned numerous books on science and philosophy.

In 1979, he published Advice to a Young Scientist, a book brimming with both practical advice and philosophical guidance for anyone “engaged in exploratory activities.” Here, we summarize some of Medawar’s key insights from the book.

Application, diligence, a sense of purpose

“There is no certain way of telling in advance if the daydreams of a life dedicated to the pursuit of truth will carry a novice through the frustration of seeing experiments fail and of making the dismaying discovery that some of one’s favourite ideas are groundless.”

If you want to make progress in any area, you need to be willing to give up your best ideas from time to time. 

A black and white profile shot of the Nobel Prize-winning biologist Peter Medawar
The Nobel Prize-winning biologist Peter Medawar (1915–1987) is best known for work that made the first organ transplants and skin grafts possible.
By Digitised for CODEBREAKERS, MAKERS OF MODERN GENETICS

Science proceeds because researchers do all they can to disprove their hypotheses rather than prove them right. Medawar notes that he twice spent two whole years trying to corroborate groundless hypotheses. The key to being a good scientist is the capacity to take no for an answer— when necessary. Additionally:

“…one does not need to be terrifically brainy to be a good scientist…there is nothing in experimental science that calls for great feats of ratiocination or a preternatural gift for deductive reasoning. Common sense one cannot do without, and one would be the better for owning some of those old-fashioned virtues which have fallen into disrepute. I mean application, diligence, a sense of purpose, the power to concentrate, to persevere and not be cast down by adversity—by finding out after long and weary inquiry, for example, that a dearly loved hypothesis is in large measure mistaken.”

The truth is, any measure of risk-taking comes with the possibility of failure. Learning from failure to continue exploring the unknown is a broadly useful mindset.

How to make important discoveries

“It can be said with marked confidence that any scientist of any age who wants to make important discoveries must study important problems. Dull or piffling problems yield dull or piffling answers.”

A common piece of advice for people early on in their careers is to pursue what they find most interesting. Medawar disagrees, explaining that “almost any problem is interesting if it is studied in sufficient depth.” He advises scientists to look for important problems, meaning ones with answers that matter to humankind.

When choosing an area of research, Medawar cautions against mistaking a fashion (“some new histochemical procedure or technical gimmick”) for a movement (“such as molecular genetics or cellular immunology”). Movements lead somewhere; fashions generally don’t.

Getting started

Whenever we begin some new endeavor, it can be tempting to think we need to know everything there is to know about it before we even begin. Often, this becomes a form of procrastination. Only once we try something and our plans make contact with reality can we know what we need to know. Medawar believes it’s unnecessary for scientists to spend an enormous amount of time learning techniques and supporting disciplines before beginning research:

“As there is no knowing in advance where a research enterprise may lead and what kind of skills it will require as it unfolds, this process of ‘equipping oneself’ has no predeterminable limits and is bad psychological policy….The great incentive to learning a new skill or supporting discipline is needing to use it.”

The best way to learn what we need to know is by getting started, then picking up new knowledge as it proves itself necessary. When there’s an urgent need, we learn faster and avoid unnecessary learning. The same can be true for too much reading:

“Too much book learning may crab and confine the imagination, and endless poring over the research of others is sometimes psychologically a research substitute, much as reading romantic fiction may be a substitute for real-life romance….The beginner must read, but intently and choosily and not too much.”

We don’t talk about this much at Farnam Street, but it is entirely possible to read too much. Reading becomes counterproductive when it serves as a substitute for doing the real thing, if that’s what someone is reading for. Medawar explains that it is “psychologically most important to get results, even if they are not original.” It’s important to build confidence by doing something concrete and seeing a visible manifestation of our labors. For Medawar, the best scientists begin with the understanding that they can never know anything and, besides, learning needs to be a lifelong process.

The secrets to effective collaboration

“Scientific collaboration is not at all like cooks elbowing each other from the pot of broth; nor is it like artists working on the same canvas, or engineers working out how to start a tunnel simultaneously from both sides of a mountain in such a way that the contractors do not miss each other in the middle and emerge independently at opposite ends.”

Instead, scientific collaboration is about researchers creating the right environment to develop and expand upon each other’s ideas. A good collaboration is greater than the sum of its parts and results in work that isn’t attributable to a single person.

For scientists who find their collaborators infuriating from time to time, Medawar advises being self-aware. We all have faults, and we too are probably almost intolerable to work with sometimes.

When collaboration becomes contentious, Medawar maintains that we should give away our best ideas.

Scientists sometimes face conflict over the matter of credit. If several researchers are working on the same problem, whichever one finds the solution (or a solution) first gets the credit, no matter how close the others were. This is a problem most creative fields don’t face: “The twenty years Wagner spent on composing the first three operas of The Ring were not clouded by the fear that someone else might nip ahead of him with Götterdämmerung.” Once a scientific idea becomes established, it becomes public property. So the only chance of ownership a researcher has comes by being the first.

However, Medawar advocates for being open about ideas and doing away with secrecy because “anyone who shuts his door keeps out more than he lets out.” He goes on to write, “The agreed house rule of the little group of close colleagues I have always worked with has always been ‘Tell everyone everything you know,’ and I don’t know anyone who came to any harm by falling in with it.

How to handle moral dilemmas

A scientist will normally have contractual obligations to his employer and has always a special and unconditionally binding obligation to the truth.

Medawar writes that many scientists, at some point in their career, find themselves grappling with the conflict between a contractual obligation and their own conscience. However, the “time to grapple is before a moral dilemma arises.” If we think an enterprise might lead somewhere damaging, we shouldn’t start on it in the first place.

We should know our values and aim to do work in accordance with them.

The first rule is never to fool yourself

“I cannot give any scientist of any age better advice than this: the intensity of the conviction that a hypothesis is true has no bearing of whether it is true or not.”

Richard Feynman famously said, “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself—and you are the easiest person to fool.” All scientists make mistakes sometimes. Medawar advises, when this happens, to issue a swift correction. To do so is far more respectable and beneficial for the field than trying to cover it up. Echoing the previous advice to always be willing to take no for an answer, Medawar warns about falling in love with a hypothesis and believing it is true without evidence.

“A scientist who habitually deceives himself is well on the way toward deceiving others.”

The best creative environment

“To be creative, scientists need libraries and laboratories and the company of other scientists; certainly a quiet and untroubled life is a help. A scientist’s work is in no way deepened or made more cogent by privation, anxiety, distress, or emotional harassment. To be sure, the private lives of scientists may be strangely and comically mixed up, but not in ways that have any special bearing on the nature and quality of their work.”

Creativity rises from tranquility, not from disarray. Creativity is supported by a safe environment, one in which you can share and question openly and be heard with compassion and a desire to understand.

A final piece of advice

“A scientist who wishes to keep his friends and not add to the number of his enemies must not be forever scoffing and criticizing and so earn a reputation for habitual disbelief; but he owes it to his profession not to acquiesce in or appear to condone folly, superstition, or demonstrably unsound belief. The recognition and castigation of folly will not win him friends, but it may gain him some respect.”

Related content

US, CA, Santa Clara
Job summaryAmazon is looking for a passionate, talented, and inventive Applied Scientist with a strong machine learning background to help build industry-leading language technology.Our mission is to provide a delightful experience to Amazon’s customers by pushing the envelope in Natural Language Processing (NLP), Natural Language Understanding (NLU), Dialog management, conversational AI and Machine Learning (ML).As part of our AI team in Amazon AWS, you will work alongside internationally recognized experts to develop novel algorithms and modeling techniques to advance the state-of-the-art in human language technology. Your work will directly impact millions of our customers in the form of products and services, as well as contributing to the wider research community. You will gain hands on experience with Amazon’s heterogeneous text and structured data sources, and large-scale computing resources to accelerate advances in language understanding.We are hiring primarily in Conversational AI / Dialog System Development areas: NLP, NLU, Dialog Management, NLG.This role can be based in NYC, Seattle or Palo Alto.Inclusive Team CultureHere at AWS, we embrace our differences. We are committed to furthering our culture of inclusion. We have ten employee-led affinity groups, reaching 40,000 employees in over 190 chapters globally. We have innovative benefit offerings, and host annual and ongoing learning experiences, including our Conversations on Race and Ethnicity (CORE) and AmazeCon (gender diversity) conferences.Work/Life BalanceOur team puts a high value on work-life balance. It isn’t about how many hours you spend at home or at work; it’s about the flow you establish that brings energy to both parts of your life. We believe striking the right balance between your personal and professional life is critical to life-long happiness and fulfillment. We offer flexibility in working hours and encourage you to find your own balance between your work and personal lives.Mentorship & Career GrowthOur team is dedicated to supporting new members. We have a broad mix of experience levels and tenures, and we’re building an environment that celebrates knowledge sharing and mentorship. Our senior members enjoy one-on-one mentoring and thorough, but kind, code reviews. We care about your career growth and strive to assign projects based on what will help each team member develop into a better-rounded engineer and enable them to take on more complex tasks in the future.
IN, TS, Hyderabad
Job summaryAre you excited about driving business growth for millions of sellers by applying Machine Learning? Do you thrive in a fast-moving, large-scale environment that values data-driven decision making and sound scientific practices? We are looking for experienced data scientists to build sophisticated decision making systems that help Amazon Marketplace Sellers to grow their businesses.Amazon Marketplace enables sellers to reach hundreds of millions of customers and provides sellers the tools and services needed to make e-commerce simple, efficient and successful. Our team builds the core intelligence, insights, and algorithms that power a range of products used by millions of sellers. We are tackling large-scale, challenging problems such as helping sellers to prioritise business tasks by bringing together petabytes of data from sources across Amazon.You will be proficient with creating value out of data by formulating questions, analysing vast amounts of data, and communicating insights effectively to audience of varied backgrounds. In addition, you'll contribute to online experiments, build machine learning pipelines and personalised data products.To know more about Amazon science, Please visit https://www.amazon.scienceKey job responsibilities· Collaborate with domain experts, formulate questions, gather, process and analyse petabytes of data to unearth reliable insights· Design & execute experiments and analyze experimental results· Communicate insights effectively to audience of a wide range of backgrounds· Formulate relevant prediction problems and solve them by developing machine learning models· Partner with data engineering teams to improve quality of data assets, metrics and insights· Leverage industry best practices to establish repeatable science practices, principles & processes
US, WA, Seattle
Job summaryAmazon Sub-Same-Day Supply Chain team is looking for an experienced and motivated Senior Data Scientist to generate data-driven insights influencing the long term SSD supply chain strategy, build the necessary predictive models, optimization algorithms and customer behavioral segments allowing us to discover and build the roadmap for SSD to enable operational efficiency and scale.Key job responsibilitiesWork with product managers, engineers, other scientists, and leadership to identify and prioritize complex problems.Translate business problems into specific analytical questions and form hypotheses that can be answered with available data using scientific methods or identify additional data needed in the master datasets to fill any gapsDesign, develop, and evaluate highly innovative statistics and ML modelsGuide and establish scalable, efficient, automated processes for large scale data analyses, model development, model validation and model implementationProactively seek to identify business opportunities and insights and provide solutions to shape key business processes and policies based on a broad and deep knowledge of Amazon data, industry best-practices, and work done by other teams.A day in the lifeIn this role, you will be a technical expert with significant scope and impact. You will work with Product Managers, Business Engineers, and other Scientists, to deeply understand SSDs current optimization strategy while benchmarking against industry best practices and standards to gain insights that will drive our roadmap. A successful Data Scientist will have extreme bias for action needed in a startup environment, with outstanding leadership skills, proven ability to build and manage medium-scale modeling projects, identify data requirements, build methodology and tools that are statistically grounded. It will be a person who enjoys diving deep into data, doing analysis, discovering root causes, and designing long-term scientific solutions. We are seeking someone who can thrive in a fast-paced, high-energy and fun work environment where we deliver value incrementally and frequently. We value highly technical people who know their subject matter deeply and are willing to learn new areas. We look for individuals who know how to deliver results and show a desire to develop themselves, their colleagues, and their career.About the teamAmazon's Sub-Same Day (SSD) delivery program is designed to get customers their items as fast as possible – currently in as quickly as five hours. With ultra-fast delivery becoming increasingly important, we are looking for an experienced Senior Data Scientist to help us benchmark against industry standards to uncover insights to improve and optimize the long term supply chain strategy for Amazons Sub-Same-Day business.
US, WA, Seattle
Job summaryWorkforce Staffing (WFS) brings together the workforce powering Amazon’s ability to delight customers: the Amazon Associate. With over 1M hires, WFS supports sourcing, hiring, and developing the best talent to work in our fulfillment centers, sortation centers, delivery stations, shopping sites, Prime Air locations, and more.WFS' Funnel Science and Analytics team is looking for a Research Scientist. This individual will be responsible for conducting experiments and evaluating the impact of interventions when conducting experiments is not feasible. The perfect candidate will have the applied experience and the theoretical knowledge of policy evaluation and conducting field studies.Key job responsibilitiesAs a Research Scientist (RS), you will do causal inference, design studies and experiments, leverage data science workflows, build predictive models, conduct simulations, create visualizations, and influence science and analytics practice across the organization.Provide insights by analyzing historical data from databases (Redshift, SQL Server, Oracle DW, and Salesforce).Identify useful research avenues for increasing candidate conversion, test, and create well written documents to communicate to technical and non-technical audiences.About the teamFunnel Science and Analytics team finds ways to maximize the conversion and early retention of every candidate who wants to be an Amazon Associate. By focusing on our candidates, we improve candidate and business outcomes, and Amazon takes a step closer to being Earth’s Best Employer.
US, NY, New York
Job summaryAmazon is looking for a passionate, talented, and inventive Applied Scientist with a strong machine learning background to help build industry-leading language technology.Our mission is to provide a delightful experience to Amazon’s customers by pushing the envelope in Natural Language Processing (NLP), Natural Language Understanding (NLU), Dialog management, conversational AI and Machine Learning (ML).As part of our AI team in Amazon AWS, you will work alongside internationally recognized experts to develop novel algorithms and modeling techniques to advance the state-of-the-art in human language technology. Your work will directly impact millions of our customers in the form of products and services, as well as contributing to the wider research community. You will gain hands on experience with Amazon’s heterogeneous text and structured data sources, and large-scale computing resources to accelerate advances in language understanding.We are hiring primarily in Conversational AI / Dialog System Development areas: NLP, NLU, Dialog Management, NLG.This role can be based in NYC, Seattle or Palo Alto.Inclusive Team CultureHere at AWS, we embrace our differences. We are committed to furthering our culture of inclusion. We have ten employee-led affinity groups, reaching 40,000 employees in over 190 chapters globally. We have innovative benefit offerings, and host annual and ongoing learning experiences, including our Conversations on Race and Ethnicity (CORE) and AmazeCon (gender diversity) conferences.Work/Life BalanceOur team puts a high value on work-life balance. It isn’t about how many hours you spend at home or at work; it’s about the flow you establish that brings energy to both parts of your life. We believe striking the right balance between your personal and professional life is critical to life-long happiness and fulfillment. We offer flexibility in working hours and encourage you to find your own balance between your work and personal lives.Mentorship & Career GrowthOur team is dedicated to supporting new members. We have a broad mix of experience levels and tenures, and we’re building an environment that celebrates knowledge sharing and mentorship. Our senior members enjoy one-on-one mentoring and thorough, but kind, code reviews. We care about your career growth and strive to assign projects based on what will help each team member develop into a better-rounded engineer and enable them to take on more complex tasks in the future.
US, CA, Santa Clara
Job summaryJob summaryAmazon is looking for a passionate, talented, and inventive Applied Scientist with a strong machine learning background to help build industry-leading language technology.Our mission is to provide a delightful experience to Amazon’s customers by pushing the envelope in Natural Language Processing (NLP), Natural Language Understanding (NLU), Dialog management, conversational AI and Machine Learning (ML).As part of our AI team in Amazon AWS, you will work alongside internationally recognized experts to develop novel algorithms and modeling techniques to advance the state-of-the-art in human language technology. Your work will directly impact millions of our customers in the form of products and services, as well as contributing to the wider research community. You will gain hands on experience with Amazon’s heterogeneous text and structured data sources, and large-scale computing resources to accelerate advances in language understanding.We are hiring primarily in Conversational AI / Dialog System Development areas: NLP, NLU, Dialog Management, NLG.This role can be based in NYC, Seattle or Palo Alto.Inclusive Team CultureHere at AWS, we embrace our differences. We are committed to furthering our culture of inclusion. We have ten employee-led affinity groups, reaching 40,000 employees in over 190 chapters globally. We have innovative benefit offerings, and host annual and ongoing learning experiences, including our Conversations on Race and Ethnicity (CORE) and AmazeCon (gender diversity) conferences.Work/Life BalanceOur team puts a high value on work-life balance. It isn’t about how many hours you spend at home or at work; it’s about the flow you establish that brings energy to both parts of your life. We believe striking the right balance between your personal and professional life is critical to life-long happiness and fulfillment. We offer flexibility in working hours and encourage you to find your own balance between your work and personal lives.Mentorship & Career GrowthOur team is dedicated to supporting new members. We have a broad mix of experience levels and tenures, and we’re building an environment that celebrates knowledge sharing and mentorship. Our senior members enjoy one-on-one mentoring and thorough, but kind, code reviews. We care about your career growth and strive to assign projects based on what will help each team member develop into a better-rounded engineer and enable them to take on more complex tasks in the future.
US, VA, Arlington
Job summaryAmazon is investing heavily in building a world class advertising business and we are responsible for defining and delivering a collection of self-service performance advertising products that drive discovery and sales. Our products are strategically important to our Retail and Marketplace businesses driving long term growth. We deliver billions of ad impressions and millions of clicks daily and are breaking fresh ground to create world-class products. We are highly motivated, collaborative and fun-loving with an entrepreneurial spirit and bias for action. With a broad mandate to experiment and innovate, we are growing at an unprecedented rate with a seemingly endless range of new opportunities.Sponsored Products helps merchants, retail vendors, and brand owners succeed via native advertising that grows incremental sales of their products sold through Amazon. The Sponsored Products Ad Marketplace organization optimizes the systems and ad placements to match advertiser demand with publisher supply using a combination of machine learning, big data analytics, ultra-low latency high-volume engineering systems, and quantitative product focus. Our goals are to help buyers discover new products they love, be the most efficient way for advertisers to meet their business objectives, and to build a major, sustainable business that helps Amazon continuously innovate on behalf of all customers.We are seeking a Sr. Applied Science Manager who has a solid background in applied Machine Learning and AI, deep passion for building data-driven products, ability to communicate data insights and scientific vision, and has a proven track record of leading both applied scientists and software engineers to execute complex projects and deliver business impacts.In this team, Machine Learning and Deep Learning technologies including Semantic Retrieval, Natural Language Processing (NLP), Information Extraction, Image Understanding, Learning to Rank are used to match shoppers' search queries to ads with per impression prediction models that run in real-time with tight latency budgets. Models are trained using self-supervised techniques, transfer learning, and supervised training using labeled datasets. Knowledge distillation and model compression techniques are used to optimize model performance for production serving.The Senior Manager role will lead science and engineering efforts in these areas for Amazon Search pages WW. The person in this role is responsible for: maintaining the consistent and long term reliability for the models and the delivery services that power them, managing diverse teams across multiple domains, and collaborating cross-functional with other senior decision makers. Our critical LPs for this role are Think Big, Are Right A lot, and Earns Trust. What is key is that the leader will need a dynamic mindset to build systems that are flexible and will scale.In this role, you will:· Lead a group of both applied scientists and software engineers to deliver machine-learning and AI solutions to production.· Advance team's engineering craftsmanship and drive continued scientific innovation as a thought leader and practitioner.· Develop science and engineering roadmap, run Sprint/quarter and annual planning, and foster cross-team collaboration to execute complex projects.· Perform hands-on data analysis, build machine-learning models, run regular A/B tests, and communicate the impact to senior management.· Hire and develop top talents, provide technical and career development guidance to both scientists and engineers in the organization.Locations: Seattle, WA; New York, NY; Arlington, VA
US, WA, Seattle
Job summaryAmazon's Weblab team enables experimentation at massive scale to help Amazon build better products for customers. A/B testing is in Amazon's DNA and we're at the core of how Amazon innovates on behalf of customers. We are seeking a skilled Applied Scientist to help us build the future of experimentation systems at Amazon.About you:You have an entrepreneurial spirit and want to make a big impact on Amazon and its customers. You are excited about cutting-edge research on unsupervised learning, graph algorithms, and causal inference in the intersection between Machine Learning, Statistics, and Econometrics. You enjoy building massive scale and high performance systems but also have a bias for delivering simple solutions to complex problems. You're looking for a career where you'll be able to build, to deliver, and to impress. You challenge yourself and others to come up with better solutions. You develop strong working relationships and thrive in a collaborative team environment.About us together:We're going to help Amazon make better long term decisions by designing and delivering A/B-testing systems for long-term experiments, and by using these systems to figure out how near term behavior impacts long term growth and profitability. Our work will inform some of the biggest decisions at Amazon. Along the way, we're going to face seemingly insurmountable challenges. We're going to argue about how to solve them, and we'll work together to find a solution that is better than each of the proposals we came in with. We'll make tough decisions, but we'll all understand why. We'll be the dream team.We have decades of combined experience on the team in many areas science and engineering so it's a great environment in which to learn and grow. A/B testing is one of the hottest areas of research and development in the world today and this is a chance to learn how it works in the company known for pioneering its use.
US, CA, Santa Clara
Job summaryAWS AI/ML is looking for world class scientists and engineers to join its AI Research and Education group working on building automated ML solutions for planetary-scale sustainability and geospatial applications. Our team's mission is to develop ready-to-use and automated solutions that solve important sustainability and geospatial problems. We live in a time wherein geospatial data, such as climate, agricultural crop yield, weather, landcover, etc., has become ubiquitous. Cloud computing has made it easy to gather and process the data that describes the earth system and are generated by satellites, mobile devices, and IoT devices. Our vision is to bring the best ML/AI algorithms to solve practical environmental and sustainability-related R&D problems at scale. Building these solutions require a solid foundation in machine learning infrastructure and deep learning technologies. The team specializes in developing popular open source software libraries like AutoGluon, GluonCV, GluonNLP, DGL, Apache/MXNet (incubating). Our strategy is to bring the best of ML based automation to the geospatial and sustainability area.We are seeking an experienced Applied Scientist for the team. This is a role that combines science knowledge (around machine learning, computer vision, earth science), technical strength, and product focus. It will be your job to develop ML system and solutions and work closely with the engineering team to ship them to our customers. You will interact closely with our customers and with the academic and research communities. You will be at the heart of a growing and exciting focus area for AWS and work with other acclaimed engineers and world famous scientists. You are also expected to work closely with other applied scientists and demonstrate Amazon Leadership Principles (https://www.amazon.jobs/en/principles). Strong technical skills and experience with machine learning and computer vision are required. Experience working with earth science, mapping, and geospatial data is a plus. Our customers are extremely technical and the solutions we build for them are strongly coupled to technical feasibility.About the teamInclusive Team CultureAt AWS, we embrace our differences. We are committed to furthering our culture of inclusion. We have ten employee-led affinity groups, reaching 40,000 employees in over 190 chapters globally. We have innovative benefit offerings, and host annual and ongoing learning experiences, including our Conversations on Race and Ethnicity (CORE) and AmazeCon (gender diversity) conferences. Amazon’s culture of inclusion is reinforced within our 14 Leadership Principles, which remind team members to seek diverse perspectives, learn and be curious, and earn trust. Work/Life BalanceOur team puts a high value on work-life balance. It isn’t about how many hours you spend at home or at work; it’s about the flow you establish that brings energy to both parts of your life. We believe striking the right balance between your personal and professional life is critical to life-long happiness and fulfillment. We offer flexibility in working hours and encourage you to find your own balance between your work and personal lives.Mentorship & Career GrowthOur team is dedicated to supporting new members. We have a broad mix of experience levels and tenures, and we’re building an environment that celebrates knowledge sharing and mentorship. Our senior members enjoy one-on-one mentoring. We care about your career growth and strive to assign projects based on what will help each team member develop into a better-rounded scientist and enable them to take on more complex tasks in the future.Interested in this role? Reach out to the recruiting team with questions or apply directly via amazon.jobs.
US, CA, Santa Clara
Job summaryAWS AI/ML is looking for world class scientists and engineers to join its AI Research and Education group working on building automated ML solutions for planetary-scale sustainability and geospatial applications. Our team's mission is to develop ready-to-use and automated solutions that solve important sustainability and geospatial problems. We live in a time wherein geospatial data, such as climate, agricultural crop yield, weather, landcover, etc., has become ubiquitous. Cloud computing has made it easy to gather and process the data that describes the earth system and are generated by satellites, mobile devices, and IoT devices. Our vision is to bring the best ML/AI algorithms to solve practical environmental and sustainability-related R&D problems at scale. Building these solutions require a solid foundation in machine learning infrastructure and deep learning technologies. The team specializes in developing popular open source software libraries like AutoGluon, GluonCV, GluonNLP, DGL, Apache/MXNet (incubating). Our strategy is to bring the best of ML based automation to the geospatial and sustainability area.We are seeking an experienced Applied Scientist for the team. This is a role that combines science knowledge (around machine learning, computer vision, earth science), technical strength, and product focus. It will be your job to develop ML system and solutions and work closely with the engineering team to ship them to our customers. You will interact closely with our customers and with the academic and research communities. You will be at the heart of a growing and exciting focus area for AWS and work with other acclaimed engineers and world famous scientists. You are also expected to work closely with other applied scientists and demonstrate Amazon Leadership Principles (https://www.amazon.jobs/en/principles).Strong technical skills and experience with machine learning and computer vision are required. Experience working with earth science, mapping, and geospatial data is a plus. Our customers are extremely technical and the solutions we build for them are strongly coupled to technical feasibility.About the teamInclusive Team CultureAt AWS, we embrace our differences. We are committed to furthering our culture of inclusion. We have ten employee-led affinity groups, reaching 40,000 employees in over 190 chapters globally. We have innovative benefit offerings, and host annual and ongoing learning experiences, including our Conversations on Race and Ethnicity (CORE) and AmazeCon (gender diversity) conferences. Amazon’s culture of inclusion is reinforced within our 14 Leadership Principles, which remind team members to seek diverse perspectives, learn and be curious, and earn trust.Work/Life BalanceOur team puts a high value on work-life balance. It isn’t about how many hours you spend at home or at work; it’s about the flow you establish that brings energy to both parts of your life. We believe striking the right balance between your personal and professional life is critical to life-long happiness and fulfillment. We offer flexibility in working hours and encourage you to find your own balance between your work and personal lives.Mentorship & Career GrowthOur team is dedicated to supporting new members. We have a broad mix of experience levels and tenures, and we’re building an environment that celebrates knowledge sharing and mentorship. Our senior members enjoy one-on-one mentoring. We care about your career growth and strive to assign projects based on what will help each team member develop into a better-rounded scientist and enable them to take on more complex tasks in the future.Interested in this role? Reach out to the recruiting team with questions or apply directly via amazon.jobs.