I became interested in science 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. 🙂
Actually I became interested in science back in primary school. When I was 5 our teacher put a light bulb, a battery and some wires in a box and told us to see if we could make the light bulb light up. When I managed to get the bulb to light it really was a eureka moment. After that I wanted to know why it happened. That feeling of curiosity never went away.
My uncle gave me a box of random electronic components (resistors, transistors and a buzzer) when I was about 10. I never managed to make anything from them at the time, but I eventually made a radio following the instructions in a “ladybird” book. Hearing the sound coming out of the speaker (Radio Ireland short wave – it had a hugely strong signal) was a miracle!
Science has amazed me since I was tall enough to climb onto the toilet seat cover to reach all of Mum’s lotions and potions in the bathroom cupboard, only to chuck them into the sink to see what colours the revolting paste or solution changed to. Lucky for my Mum, I’ve not grown much since then, and she can keep things out of Suze-reach!
I’ve just always been fascinated by how things work. I’m a real nightmare when I don’t understand something, whether it’s a puzzle, a magic trick, or a piece of flatpack furniture that refuses to stand up straight, and I’ll keep asking questions and trying things out until I find an answer. I guess that for me, I found that most of the answers to the questions that I was asking were found in science, and for me in particular, chemistry.
Aside from all this, you really can’t beat the explosive thrill and power of a chemistry practical!
I had great chemistry and physics teachers. They were always getting distracted from the lesson and having discussions about all sorts of strange bits of science. Later on I met a specialist Maths teacher who showed me all sort of odd (and fun) things you could do.
My main interest was in computers and I sort of fell into scientific computing and mathematical modelling – its a lot of fun