When you are trying to understand the universe, you are looking outward. Even in understanding how your own body functions, including your brain, *you* are aware of the body and observing and studying it. You can try this: sit still with your eyes closed and become intensely aware of your body. Notice that there is a *you* who is aware of the body. And to the best of my observation and understanding this *I* who is aware of the body isn't even a "physical" entity. At best I am able to think of it, i.e. myself, as a presence.
An interest in understanding how the universe functions is well and good. I am scientifically curious myself. But in itself that is an incomplete quest for knowledge. *You* exist too. In fact, since it is *you* who wants to understand the universe you are in, knowing *yourself* is implicitly important.
In fact, an effort to *know yourself* takes a higher priority, doesn't it. It's *your* life you are living. *You* are here.
To understand *yourself*, the direction of inquiry must turn inward. This is but obvious and implicit in what is being said.
Seek self knowledge. Learn how to meditate. Alongside, pursue your interests by all means. Mine primarily lie in science, mathematics and music. Good luck with yours !
Say (hypothetically speaking) all scientific questions are solved one day. Physics completes. Chemistry completes. Biology completes. Math completes. Say this happens today. Then what? Does that bring an end to the quest for knowledge?
No. Each of us still would have to know ourselves. That's an individual journey each one of us has to make independently. We can be guided, yes. But the journey still has to be undertaken personally.
Consider the opposite scenario: Say the chapter of science never closes. What then? Will we postpone the pursuit of self knowledge indefinitely?
Focusing only on the external or waiting till all questions about the external are answered before we turn our attention inward are meaningless propositions.
The pursuit of self knowledge needs to be our first priority. And alongside we pursue other interests. Not the other way around.
Life is short. What is 70-80 years? Nothing. It's not even a blip on the history and future of time. Would your journey of life be complete without you knowing yourself? Do you sense the urgency and importance of what I'm saying?
That's why I say: Seek self knowledge, learn how to meditate. And alongside, pursue other interests.