The Making of a Scientist Class 10 English Notes

‘The Making of a Scientist’ Notes Class 10 English: Through Ebright’s story, Peterson surmises that qualities like curiosity, persistence, dedication and inspiration play a crucial role in making a scientist. The author suggests that one must be perseverant and dedicated towards his/her work as hard-work and perseverance pays off eventually.

Summary: The Making of a Scientist

Broadly, The Making of a Scientist can be divided into:

  • Ebright’s Achievement at a Young Age
  • Ebright as a Child
  • Ebright’s Collection of Butterflies
  • Ebright Breeds Butterflies
  • Ebright Decides to do Real Experiments
  • Ebright’s Theory on Butterflies
  • Ebright’s New Theory
  • Ebright’s Other Interests
  • The Making of A Scientist

Ebright’s Achievement at a Young Age

  • Richard H. Ebright, at the age of twenty-two, stunned the scientific community with his innovative theory on cells.
  • An article about his theory was published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.
  • For Richard, this success started with butterflies.

Ebright as a Child

  • Richard Ebright grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania.
  • As an only child, Ebright collected things like rocks, fossils and butterflies to amuse himself.

Ebright’s Collection of Butterflies

  • By the second grade, Ebright had collected all twenty-five species of butterflies found in Reading.
  • Ebright’s interest in butterflies might have waned after the eighth grade had it not been for the book The Travels of Monarch X his mother gave him.
  • The book charted the migration of monarch butterflies from the United States to Central America.
  • At the end of the book, readers were invited to study butterflies and tag them for research. Inspired by the book, Ebright decided to tag his own butterflies.

Ebright Breeds Butterflies

  • The butterfly season in Reading was only six weeks, making it difficult for Ebright to tag many butterflies.
  • So, he decided to breed monarch butterflies in his basement.

Ebright Decides to do Real Experiments

  • Then, in the seventh grade – after losing in the county science fair – Ebright learnt that real science was about experiments rather than displays.
  • His competitive spirit was kindled, and he wrote to the author of The Travels of Monarch X, – Dr. Urquhart, for ideas.
  • In the eighth grade, Ebright tried to show that a species of beetles was responsible for a viral disease afflicting the monarch caterpillar.
  • Though his project didn’t yield tangible results, Ebright did win an award for effort.

Ebright’s Theory on Butterflies

  • In the ninth grade, he tested the theory of how viceroy butterflies copy monarch butterflies for their survival. This time he achieved success in the county science fair.
  • In high school, he thought of a simple question that would have life-changing implications for his career.
  • Richard and a fellow science student worked on a device which would provide the answer to this question.
  • This project gave him a chance to work at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research. It also got him an entry into the International Science and Engineering Fair.
  • He continued working on this project which won him the first prize at the International Fair and gave him a chance to work for the U.S. department of Agriculture.

Ebright’s New Theory

  • As a next step in the project, Ebright grew cells from the monarch’s wing to expand on his theory.
  • Next summer, after completing his first year at Harvard University, Richard went back to the Department of Agriculture.
  • He succeeded in identifying the hormone’s chemical structure.
  • Following this, he discovered how cells could read their DNA.
  • Peterson states that if Richard manages to prove his theory; it will revolutionize the understanding of life and life’s processes.
  • While working on expanding this theory with his colleague James R. Wong, Ebright also graduated from Harvard University.

Ebright’s Other Interests

  • Ebright, Peterson writes, not only is a gifted scholar but also a debate champion, an all-around sports person and an expert photographer.
  • While competitive, Richard also believes in giving the best effort that he could.

The Making of a Scientist

  • His scientific curiosity, coupled with an intelligent mind and a will to win, has given Richard every opportunity to become a brilliant scientist.
  • Peterson believes this combination makes for an extraordinary scientist.


The major theme of the chapter is Hard work:

  • The author believes that hard work is a continuous process and he brings this idea forth through the character of Ebright.
  • Ebright was passionate about his interest and worked hard since a very young age.
  • Ebright added many feathers to his hat from collecting twenty-five species of butterflies to conducting research on an unknown hormone in the gold spots of butterflies.
  • Ebright’s curiosity helped him hold on to hope and do better, despite his failures.
  • Ebright eventually graduated from Harvard University. With continuous efforts to grow, Richard Ebright proved that hard-work and dedication leads to success.

Character Sketch

The chapter provides a brief glimpse into the character of Richard H Ebright:

Notable: Ebright was a brilliant scientist. He is celebrated for his work on cell and reading of DNA.

Curious: Ebright was intrigued by butterflies and he collected them since childhood. He was so fascinated by them that he researched on the cells and DNA of monarch butterflies.

Talented: Ebright was not only is a gifted scholar but also a debate champion, an all-around sports person and an expert photographer.

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  1. Somanath

    Kindly post the character sketch of Mother and Dr. Urquhart. (Their roles are very important)

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