I think I was about 8. I always watched science on television – things like Tomorrow’s World and The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures. I realised that I wanted to be on the cutting edge, learning about new things as they were happening, and pushing the boundaries.
I’ve changed my mind several times since about which exact area of science I want to work in – but I always knew it was science.
I think it was a black and white film on TV where two scientists were working behind locked doors almost in secret trying to invent something. Its a bit vague but then I liked science at junior school and then much more at senior school. I also had an older brother who liked it too and he had a chemistry set and electronics set for Christmas. I then was asked by a teacher what I wanted to do and I said I wanted to be a lab technician. She said maybe I should aim a little higher and see how far I could get. A levels, BSc degree then PhD and a career in science. I have a lot to thank that teacher for and her encouragement and vision for me. Sometoimes it takes someone else to see where we should go
I always knew that I liked to solve puzzles and ask questions so science just felt like a natural path for me to follow. I never had a grand plan in mind, I just kept on taking the options that seemed most interesting to me and the rest followed on from there!