A scientist is a person engaging in a systematic activity to acquire knowledge. In a more restricted sense, a scientist may refer to an individual who uses the scientific method. The person may be an expert in one or more areas of science. 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 is a distinct activity that is not generally considered science. Philosophers aim to provide a 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; however, no engineer attains that title without significant study of science and the scientific method. 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.