• Question: What made you become a scientist?

    Asked by cast499ash on 12 Jan 2024. This question was also asked by sept499spy, type499hmm, deny499mud, yaps1mad, sard1apt.
    • Photo: Georgia Lambert

      Georgia Lambert answered on 12 Jan 2024:

      There are lots of reasons I became a scientist! I enjoy doing science (figuring out creative ways to answer questions about the world around us), I find animals very interesting so getting to do a job that involves working with them every day is great, and I like traveling which I get to do a lot of as a scientist!

    • Photo: Martin McCoustra

      Martin McCoustra answered on 24 Jan 2024:

      I’ve always been fascinated by how things work… Taking apart things and putting them back together . I was very lucky at primary school in that I had teachers in P6 and P7 who were science graduates and put a lot of effort into introducing science and maths into the classroom. I feel it is that which put me on the first step on the ladder to becoming a scientist. Further encouragement in high school led me to got to university. There I worked as a summer student in the analytical labs of the local oil refinery… which was when I realised that I wasn’t going to enjoy a job where I was told to do things. Rather I wanted a job where I could decide to do what I wanted myself… becoming an academic seemed the only pathway and so I did my PhD and some postdoctoral work before getting my first position at the age of 25 as a Lecturer in Physical Chemistry at UEA in Norwich.

    • Photo: Alberto Granero

      Alberto Granero answered on 25 Jan 2024:

      I have always been curious and wanted to understand how things work.

    • Photo: David Bremner

      David Bremner answered on 25 Jan 2024:

      When i was at secondary school i had a teacher of biology who made the subject seem so easy to understand and who taught it in such a way that it was fun. I’ve always had an interest in science in general (maybe started by seeing Star Wars at such an early age) but i was lucky enough to get a job training in a laboratory just after i left school, and the rest as they say is history!

    • Photo: Erin Pallott

      Erin Pallott answered on 25 Jan 2024: last edited 25 Jan 2024 12:06 pm

      I wasn’t sure what I wanted to be for a long time, but then I discovered areas of biology I found really interesting: Parasites and the immune system. I think I would like to move from research to science writing though!

    • Photo: Hannah Fawcett

      Hannah Fawcett answered on 26 Jan 2024:

      I found something that I find really interesting! I think that the most important thing in any career is doing something you find interesting and that makes you happy.

    • Photo: Jayne Roberts

      Jayne Roberts answered on 26 Jan 2024: last edited 26 Jan 2024 2:48 pm

      I had a really good biology teacher when I was in Yr8 who made the subject interesting for me. I think my interest just grew from there. My dad was also a scientist working in a lab so I think that probably influenced me as well. We would (and still do) talk about science when we are together…not sure my mum finds those conversations quite so interesting though!!

    • Photo: Rachel Edwards

      Rachel Edwards answered on 26 Jan 2024:

      I really liked maths, but only when I was using it as a tool to solve problems. It turned out that everything I was enjoying was physics. Alongside this, I read and watched a lot of science fiction, and loved the thought of future technology and space exploration. I thought about becoming an astronaut, but I never grew tall enough (I’m the height of an 11-year-old), so instead decided I was going to study space. So it turned out that I didn’t actually enjoy that bit of physics, but I found that I loved quantum mechanics and studying how different materials (like metals, superconductors, or magnets) behaved. After my physics degree I decided I was still enjoying learning, so did a PhD, and then kept enjoying learning and doing science so stayed doing it! I’ve been very lucky to find some good jobs.

    • Photo: Lisa Humphreys

      Lisa Humphreys answered on 27 Jan 2024:

      I love that it’s always evolving. It’s an exciting field to work within. We as a collective are always trying to understand what makes things happen and why. I enjoy the process of learning more about materials. Once I’ve gathered the data it can be shared to benefit the wider scientific community.

    • Photo: Kirsty Ross

      Kirsty Ross answered on 31 Jan 2024:

      I had great teachers at just the right time, read lots of interesting books, and role models within my family. Although my dad wanted me to study radar, ‘cos that’s where the research was going. It shows that parents aren’t always right!

    • Photo: Penny Timpert

      Penny Timpert answered on 1 Feb 2024: last edited 1 Feb 2024 8:44 am

      Since I was very small, I wanted to be a Biomedical Engineer, designing artificial limbs for people who had lost theirs. One of my closest friends was born missing her right arm below the elbow. She was (and is!) amazing and could do pretty much the same things as everyone else, even play the piano in primary school, by popping off her prosthetic (lower arm replacement) and working out how to adjust music to fit in with what she could reach.

      Her prosthetic was bulky and heavy and uncomfortable, but she wore it to blend in. People were amazed if she took it off or saw her in gym class because it was so realistic looking, they didn’t even notice it.

      I wanted to make people like her better ones, and studied subjects like medical plastics and computing. She became an occupational therapist, helping people make the most of their physical skills. Now I have arthritis, which makes my hands work less well, and I go to her for tips.

      When I was growing up in the 1970s & 80s, I was discouraged from doing a degree in engineering because “engineering was for boys”. It most definitely isn’t now!

      I have lots of ideas but I’m not very precise with my hands, so working in a team of people is great – we all have different things we are good at and together we can make a big difference. There are so many super cool ways to get involved for everyone, no matter how big / small / neat / messy / organised / chaotic.

    • Photo: Margaret Laurie

      Margaret Laurie answered on 2 Feb 2024:

      I went to the library as a child and was amazing by all the books they had on all sorts of different topics. I read alot about Ancient Egypt as a child and was fascinated about how they think about the mind and the soul – which inspired me to pursue Psychology

    • Photo: Clara Ferreira

      Clara Ferreira answered on 15 Feb 2024:

      I didn´t actually realize I became a scientist – I am naturally curious and I try to study everything to their little detail – one day, I noticed that I was doing this about a specific subject and I realized that I was following a career to become a scientist.
      The fact that I do not often notice really obvious stuff might be an answer as well. Dah to me!