The Making of A Scientist

Summary of Making of A Scientist


From ancient times, founders of different types of science have played a crucial role in the enhancement of our lives. Over a long period of time, many high ranked scientists have taken care of the many facts which helped mankind to a larger extent. The discovery of various medicines and electrical gadgets. Inventions that occurred in order to measure distance not in days but only in a few hours, all have done a lot to mankind. Apart from this, the scientists have also acknowledged us about space which has been a big wonder to everyone. 


Science has changed lives upside down, scientists are the key to the enhancement. Some of the most recalled scientists of all time are Stephen Hawking, Albert Einstein, Newton, Galileo Galilei and many more. One of the leading scientists of a particular era was Richard Ebright. The story “The making of a scientist” is based on a brief note of his life story only.

A Brief Summary

The story revolves around the life of one of the leading scientists of his era, Richard Ebright. As the name suggests itself, the story tells us about how he got interested in the field of science and he got privilege in the latter years with his hard work, love and dedication towards the world of science. 

From his very childhood, Richard Ebright was a very curious child. He had great dedication and interest in researching new things. Ebright’s mother was a very kind lady. He loved his mother and was very close to him. She contributed a lot in order to make Richard Ebright, one of the brightest scientists of the era. Ebright used to collect butterflies. In his 2nd grade, he had collected all the 25 species of his area. Apart from this, he also used to collect fossils, coins and rocks. 

Ebright’s mother gave him a book named “The Travel of Monarch X”. This book helped Ebright to understand the world of science in a better way. The book acknowledged the country’s science fair. While studying in eighth grade, he studied about the viral fever caused in the butterflies which led to almost all the butterflies species. He estimated that it was because of the presence of a beetle. In order to find out the reason. He allowed the butterflies to grow in the presence of beetles. The estimation posed by Ebright was wrong. 

Later, he researched the topic of viceroy butterflies. He found that the viceroy butterflies copy the monarchs. This project got the first prize in the zoology division and a second prize in the country science fair. 

Ebright, throughout his life, has done a lot of research right from his very childhood. While studying in the second year of high school, he discovered an unknown insect hormone. This particular discovery led to the study of a new theory on the lives of the cell. After a year Ebright noticed the golden spots on the back of the monarch pupa. He decided to research the purpose of these golden spots present in the back of monarch pupa. His dedication and hard work on this research gave him high recognition. This particular research opened ways for Ebright to enrol as a scientist. The Walter Reed Army Institute of Science gave the opportunity to Ebright to work with them on this project. He got recognised and the research earned him the first prize in the country science fair. A dream he has been watching since childhood. 

As a high school student, he started carrying out advanced research. He started studying to identify hormone chemical structure. After so many efforts, one day while looking at the X-ray photos of the new theory, he found that a cell can read the blueprint of DNA. He and one of his roommates made a plastic model of the DNA working principle. It was illustrating the whole process carried out in a DNA working. This took a second big turning point in Ebright’s life. It was recognised widely and finally got published in a magazine.  Ebright passed from one of the best colleges of all time, the Havard, with the highest honours.  

Ebright was just not a researcher or a scientist. He also had an immense interest in public speaking and debating. Being a perfectionist, Ebright was also a voracious public speaker. He was a canoeist and an outdoor person. He was the perfect example of a competitive and ambitious person. He proved to the world that even if you are competitive and ambitious, you can still become a good person. He was genuine and kind. Ebright was a wonderful person who acquired all the good qualities for being a perfect scientist.


At the age of twenty-two, Richard H. Ebright wrote and published a theory of how cells work in an article in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Richard H. Ebright grew up reading different books in Pennsylvania. He was not able to play any sport or do anything. The only thing he could do is explore the fauna and collect things and animals. 

In his childhood, he collected butterflies. Along with the butterfly, he also collected rocks, fossils and He would observe the sky at night. His mother bought him in a way that he was always eager to learn. She would take him on trips and get him a telescope, microscope, cameras, mounting materials, and other learning materials. He lost his father when he was in the third grade of school. He was called “Richie” by his mother. She would discuss with him every night about his learnings and give him mental puzzles instead of physical exercises. By the time he was in class two, Ebright had collected all twenty-five species of butterflies found around his hometown.

Richard decided to end his Butterfly collection, but his mother gifted him a book called- ‘The travels of the Monarch X’” That book explained how monarch butterflies migrate to Central America,  opening the gates to the world of science for him. 

Towards the end of the book, readers were asked to help study butterfly migration. They were asked to tag butterflies at their wings for research by Dr. Frederick A. Urquhart of the University of Toronto, Canada.  Anyone who found a tag on a butterfly was asked to send the tag to  Dr. Urquhart.

So Richard raised a flock of butterflies. He caught a female monarch, took her eggs, and raised them in his basement through their life cycle, from egg to caterpillar to pupa to adult butterfly. Then he tagged the butterflies’ wings and freed them. For several years his basement was a comfortable shelter for thousands of monarchs in different stages of development.

He understood the real science experiments when he lost in the country science club. He felt empty and sad when he did not win anything while others were celebrating after all; his entry was the frog tissues which he displayed with a microscope. At the same time, others created real science experiments. Hence, for his next year, he decided to do an entire extraordinary science project. He took the help of Dr. Urquharto to give him many suggestions. He later created remarkable experiments throughout his high school and got many awards from the country science fair and International science fair. He tried to find out the viral disease and cure, killing monarch butterflies but failed in class. However, his experiment got him an award. 

The next year his project was to test why the viceroy butterflies imitate monarchs. 

The theory was that viceroys look like monarchs because monarchs don’t taste as viceroys to birds. The more they look like monarchs, the less likely they are to become a bird’s prey. Ebright’s project was to see whether birds would eat monarchs. He saw that birds that ate monarchs instead of birds for this project were placed first in the zoology division and third overall in the county science fair.

In his second year in high school, Richard Ebright began the research that led to discovering an unknown insect hormone. Indirectly, it also led to his new theory on the life of cells. The question he tried to answer was simple: What is the purpose of the twelve tiny gold spots on a monarch pupa?

“Everyone assumed the spots were just ornamental,” Ebright said.“But Dr. Urquhart didn’t believe it.”


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