• Question: What inspired you to be a scientist?

    Asked by anon-349314 on 7 Mar 2023. This question was also asked by anon-349298, anon-349091, anon-357660, anon-357555, anon-359325.
    • Photo: Phil Howell

      Phil Howell answered on 7 Mar 2023:

      I wanted to know how things work. My older brothers and sister were also into science and nature so it kind of made sense to study most of the same subjects that they had done. I used to read some textbooks for fun – how sad is that?!

    • Photo: Laura Vickers

      Laura Vickers answered on 7 Mar 2023:

      I love having a job where no one knows the answers, research involves finding out something new, making new knowledge. I love that about being a scientist. Each project is different, each plant I work with, works in a different way. I also like that being a plant biologist is really rewarding, my work directly impacts people and the planet, to make food production more efficient means more land for ecosystems, and more food to feed the growing population.

    • Photo: Alison Tidy

      Alison Tidy answered on 7 Mar 2023:

      I have always been interested in how the natural world works. I was reading the Selfish Gene during my GCSEs and this really inspired me to want to study genetics. I decided to become a Plant Scientist as I found the plant subjects during my undergraduate more interesting. I love being a scientist and discovering new things every day, there is so much we dont know about how the world works and I love that the work I perform helps to answer these questions.

    • Photo: Sharon Mithoe

      Sharon Mithoe answered on 8 Mar 2023: last edited 8 Mar 2023 12:19 am

      I wanted to understand how things work from a young age. I was always in my grandmother’s garden talking with her about the color of her roses and how to get new varieties. I was mesmerized and loved biology and also math. I choose a career in science and love that everyday is different and full of surprises. In the lab I meet and work with scientist from all over the world and that keeps it so interesting.

    • Photo: Andrew Wood

      Andrew Wood answered on 9 Mar 2023:

      Lots of things inspired me to be a scientist, but partly it was by doing this when I was your age! I have always been curious about the natural world, I enjoy looking for patterns and processes in things around me and then trying to figure out what is going on with them. All of these things you get to do lots of as a scientist, and then I really like food and plants so plant scientist was the ideal one for me! There are so many different types of scientist, so whatever you are interested in, if you are curious and want to explore more, science is for you!

    • Photo: Alexandra Milliken

      Alexandra Milliken answered on 15 Mar 2023:

      I love fantasy books (especially harry potter) and a lot of elements in these magical books are based around plants (i.e. Herbology). Although these books are just fictional, the wondrous world of plants are very much real and thats what helped inspire me to become a scientist (to discover the magic in nature).

      Plus plants are amazing. They cannot move away from any stresses (such as heat or predators), but they have an entire system that allows them to tolerate and defend themselves under such conditions (via toxins or even disguising themselves). You can find them basically anywhere (deserts, under the sea and even at high mountain peaks). They can make their own food using sunlight, which in turn provide humans (and animals) with food. We use them for furniture, fuel and the majority of our medicines originated from plants. Plus they provide Oxygen, so we can breath.

      Without plants our lives would be very different and so I study them, so that we can use them more efficiently and so we can protect them.

    • Photo: Martin Vickers

      Martin Vickers answered on 16 Mar 2023:

      It wasn’t until I was at University during my Computer Science degree that I realised that a career as a scientist was available for me. At the time, even though the degree had the word science in it, the focus of the course was how to work on and build tools for industry, such as ecommerce sites or warehouse tracking software etc. It was the prospect of working on those types of things that led me to get involved in exciting projects. My project supervisor, who asked if I wanted to do a PhD, encouraged me to become a scientist.

      It’s okay if you don’t know what you want to do as a career. If you’re interested in science, you’ll be surprised how many opportunities there are, jobs that you’ve probably never heard of.