• Question: What is the best memory you have from being a scientist? Thank you.

    Asked by team1vac to Zoe V, Ryan, Rosa, Michael S, Michael C, Martin M, Georgia L, Amy on 7 Mar 2024.
    • Photo: Zoe Vance

      Zoe Vance answered on 7 Mar 2024:

      Such a nice question! I think my favourite memory was getting my PhD. It takes about 4 years of research work and at the end you have a very large write up (thesis) of all your findings – my thesis is 191 pages if you include all the references at the end!. So it’s the end of an awful lot of work and really quite a journey in terms of how much you’ve learned and scientific questions you’ve answered. I remember coming out of my viva (final exam/interview to get your PhD) and just being so happy and relieved I was finished.

    • Photo: Martin McCoustra

      Martin McCoustra answered on 8 Mar 2024:

      I’ve got lots of good memories of my time as a scientist… some of the best are associated with going to conferences and visiting other places… I also remember spending time in my PhD working at the Technical University in Munich during the Oktoberfest! The beer and roast chicken were excellent!

    • Photo: Michael C Macey

      Michael C Macey answered on 8 Mar 2024:

      My favourite memory of being a scientist is finishing fieldwork with one of my students in Spain and packing up all of the samples to bring back to the UK. I organised all of the trip, rented a car (I have only been driving a couple of years), navigated super tough and muddy roads and also got to see my student excel under tough field conditions (the drought broke the day we were sampling in the form of the biggest storm the region had in years!). After we washed the excessive mud off of the car and were packing up, it was the first time I realised that I felt like I had graduated fully from student to teacher.

    • Photo: Ryan Durnall

      Ryan Durnall answered on 10 Mar 2024:

      Spending 5 months in the Falkland Islands, which is 8,000 miles away from England and takes around 20 hours to fly to. It’s not far away from Antarctica, and it is home to an incredibly large population of penguins! While my job as an aircraft engineer stays relatively the same abroad as it does at home, I really enjoyed working in this unique location and making the most of all the nature and scenery.

    • Photo: Rosa Sanchez-Lucas

      Rosa Sanchez-Lucas answered on 14 Mar 2024:

      My best memory would be when my first undergraduate student ask me to be her thesis external evaluator…It was really nice to know that I transmit the research passion to a student and she felt I was the indicate to evaluate her progression. Also, some conferences where I can meet again friends again after so many years.

    • Photo: Amy Stockwell

      Amy Stockwell answered on 15 Mar 2024:

      Some of the best memories are about the people I’ve worked with. I’ve been lucky to work with lots of lovely people.
      There are also some good memories of things that I have achieved – my degree, getting my first product onto the shelf in a supermarket, being asked to present at conferences…
      And then there are the weird things – working with a factory to carry 6 tons of coffee up 7 flights of stairs to test if the factory’s transport system was breaking the beans, flavouring coffee with banana skins, teaching management to salsa dance for the company christmas party!

    • Photo: Georgia Lambert

      Georgia Lambert answered on 18 Mar 2024:

      Probably when my first paper got published! When a scientist finishes a project they normally write up their results into a paper (a scientific essay/report) that gets published in a journal (a very specialised scientific magazine). We do this to share what we have learned with other scientists so that other people can continue to build on our work. So when I got my first paper published, I felt like I was a proper scientist contributing knowledge to the world for the first time 👩‍🔬

    • Photo: Michael Schubert

      Michael Schubert answered on 22 Mar 2024:

      I have a lot of great memories from science adventures, and I have made a lot of friends in science and medicine!

      Two that really stand out to me:

      I was once in Hawai’i doing a SCUBA diving trip to examine green sea turtles (to see if they had cancer… good news, most of them don’t). Those dives were incredible. On one of my favourites, we spotted a baby octopus hiding in some coral, went to look at it, and it came out and stuck itself right to my dive mask so I couldn’t see anything! (Then it inked on my face and I REALLY couldn’t see.)

      Another time, I was on a dinosaur dig not too far from where I live now. There are a lot of dinosaur fossils in my area – so many that it’s pretty normal to find small ones. But this time, we discovered a big one… and it turned out to be a whole new species of ceratopsian (horned plant-eating dinosaur). It was an amazing feeling to be part of such a brand-new discovery!