Question: what inspired you to be a scientist
Daniel Patten answered on 15 Nov 2013:
Hi stanbcfc, alfiebcfc and nocho
I can’t remember any specific inspiration that made me want to be a scientist, it kind of happened quite naturally and I ended up following the subjects that I enjoyed (and was good at!) at school (mainly Biology and Chemistry).
Now that I am a scientist, the thing that inspires me to continue being one is that fact, through my work, I can add to our knowledge of the world we live in and (hopefully!) make some sort of difference (no matter how small!).
Saima Rehman answered on 15 Nov 2013:
Stanbcfc! For me, this was like a gradual inspiration from my teacher.
At school: My science tutor.
At higher school: My Physics, Chemistry and Biology teacher.
At college: My Biology and Chemistry lecturer.
At university: My Biochemistry professor.
At work-place: My Biochemistry senior scientist (my boss).
Julie Speakman answered on 15 Nov 2013:
I don’t think it was one thing that inspired me. It took me a long time to decide to actually be a professional scientist but I think I realised when I was quite young that I liked working scientifically – so analysing and questioning things, and looking at problems in an organised, logical way.
After my A-levels I chose to study Physics at University because I found the subject interesting but also because I thought it would give me lots of options for jobs in the future. I discovered the branch of Physics called Medical Physics at this time and thought it sounded really cool but then I was offered the chance to do a PhD (James has described this in other questions) and I got distracted!
Personally, I found that time doing my PhD actually put me off Physics and Science because I found the work too detached from real life. So after I got my PhD I worked in lots of other jobs for ooh 15(?) years, but found I was thinking more and more “What if ….?”. So after quite a long time i came back to Science….and it just felt right.
I like the fact that I can use my knowledge of Physics and apply it to medical problems and hopefully improve things for patients. This inspires me to come to work….well most days anyway!
James Hickey answered on 15 Nov 2013:
Hi stanbcfc, alfiebcfc, nocho and sweetiepie13!
When I was younger I always liked volcanoes (especially after visiting one on a family holiday) and that inspired me to go to university and study a geoscience degree.
Geoscience is a combination of geology, chemistry, maths, physics, biology and some physical geography. This degree could have set me up for hundreds of different jobs but while I was studying I was still mainly interested in volcanoes. So when I finished my degree I decided to do further research into volcanoes, and that’s where I’m at now – about halfway through doing a PhD. So I never really set out with the aim of being a ‘scientist’ I was just following the stuff I was interested in, and ended up becoming a scientist – but a volcano scientist 😀 .
In case you don’t know, a PhD is further research about a specific topic (like volcanoes, or medical microbiology) and when you finish you become a ‘Doctor’ of your subject.