• Question: what inspired you to be a scientist

    Asked by rachel4 to Suze, David, James, Mike, Will on 15 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by mikip, sodiumpolyacrylate, alamin, leena273, gasheshsxd, elidons, muhammedalir.
    • Photo: Mike Dodd

      Mike Dodd answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hey all, it was a mixture of things. I have always been curious about the world around me, whether it was staring up at the stars or playing with chemicals in chemistry. The main reason I became inspired to be come a scientist, was because of my chemistry teacher. She had gone to Oxford to study Biochemistry and researched HIV. We all found this amazing that you could work on a “cure” for HIV. She always gave us great practicals and really made science interesting.

      Also the human genome project really inspired me. I remember the newspaper, with the “Human code has been cracked”, on the front. It really made me want to know more about science and genetics. These two factors led to me studying Biochemistry at Bath University

    • Photo: William Eborall

      William Eborall answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hi everyone. All the way through school and university I just did subjects that I liked and was good at – these were the sciences and maths. But even after I was half way through my degree I still didn’t know what I wanted to do or be. Then I took a year out of my degree to work for a drugs company. This was the turning point for me.

      The company employed me as a “specialist” which gave me quite a buzz as I was the least qualified person in my department; but this really meant that my job was to do research – to try and find new ways of doing things – not to do everyday work. This was really exciting (and a bit scary!). I was given 3 projects to do – and it was only me working on them. Even the machine I was using in the lab no one else knew how to use. This made me rely on myself and I started to take pride in the projects wanting to find the answers – because if I didn’t no one else would.

      It was while doing these projects that I decided I wanted to be a scientist. After working like that I couldn’t imagine doing any other kind of job.

    • Photo: James Marrow

      James Marrow answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      I think it just happened. I kept on doing the things that I enjoyed doing (and was mostly good at), and ended up where I am now!

      I don’t just do science, however. It’s a job (perhaps a vocation). You can be a scientist and love (and do) the arts, history, geography, languages and so on.

    • Photo: Suze Kundu

      Suze Kundu answered on 15 Jun 2011:

      Hey 🙂

      I didn’t set out to be a scientist, but I’ve followed a path of doing things that I really enjoy, and that keep me fascinated, and I’ve ended up as a scientist.

      I don’t think that it was any particular person or achievement that made me think ‘yes, science is for me!’, but I felt that science had a lot of the answers to the questions that I had always wondered about, and I figured that in order to always know how things work, or why things do what they do, that if I learned how everything works through science, I could understand loads of things.