It's amazing what technological developments have done for the advancement of science. For example, one could reasonably argue that the astronomical telescope invented by Galileo really kick-started this whole science game as we know and love it today. And from there things really took off over the centuries: from microscopes and Bunsen burners to particle accelerators and orbiting satellite observatories. As we learn more about how the universe works, we're able to develop better technology, and then we can turn that technology around and better learn how the universe works. As virtuous circles go it's pretty high up there

Modern-day science owes both its legacy and its present form to innumerable technological advances. But perhaps the biggest unsung hero - or at least unsuspecting hero - of modern-day science is the microchip.

That's right: the computer. Computer hardware and software is the uncredited co-author on almost every single scientific research article you could possibly come across.

In fact I'm going to go ahead and put this somewhat bizarre statement out there for you to digest: the actual job of "scientist" these days is more as an amateur computer programmer. We use computers to take our data and run our laboratories and fancy experiments. We use sophisticated software techniques for analysis and statistics and image processing. Heck we even use software packages to write our papers and make them all look pretty with all the math that we need to put in them.

Computers are right there alongside the scientist from beginning to end, from the initial conception of an idea through the development of the research program into the dissemination of the results.

Heck sometimes computers aren't just co-authors but really first authors on a paper.

So my number one recommendation to anyone interested in becoming a scientist or pursuing a career in science is to first and foremost become very familiar with using a computer. Because like it or not, from archaeology to astronomy, from budding graduate student to seasoned full professor, you'll be at the keyboard typing away, making science happen.