• Question: Who or what inspired you to become a scientist?

    Asked by 566nbeq25 on 8 Mar 2019.
    • Photo: Aileen Baird

      Aileen Baird answered on 8 Mar 2019:

      It’s a bit of a boring answer, but I don’t really have anything that inspired me to become a scientist- I’ve always just really enjoyed science so I’ve just never really stopped! Biology was my favourite subject at GCSE and A level, then I did a biology degree, and now I’m working/studying for a PhD! I’m hoping I’ll stay working in science after I finish my PhD too.

    • Photo: Nathan Hook

      Nathan Hook answered on 8 Mar 2019:

      I’m not sure I can point to any one thing.

      I had an inspirational computer science teacher, who fostered people pressing on at their own pace of learning. That enabled a few of us to start programming as early as Year 9. (unusual in those days).

      Psychology was a subject I was drawn to later; I read others also report that experience of being drawn to it despite having never studied it before.

    • Photo: Natasha Myhill

      Natasha Myhill answered on 8 Mar 2019:

      For me, the first bit of inspiration which lead me into science was when I went to a Salter’s Chemistry Camp in yr9. It was a two day course where we did lots of cool chemistry experiments. I remember one of the experiments was making paracetamol, which I thought was really cool. This lead me to be interested in pharmaceutical science, and then I decided I wanted to learn more about what caused diseases rather than making drugs to cure them, so I went into biomedical science, and now I am working in cancer research.

    • Photo: Ciara O'Donovan

      Ciara O'Donovan answered on 8 Mar 2019:

      My answer is similar to those that have already answered in that there was no one thing. I was always interested in some capacity in science. Throughout my secondary school education I became more interested in Biology than the other sciences. I had a wonderful Biology teacher who really instilled curiosity in me. I just decided to follow a college course in science and the rest as they say is history.

    • Photo: Stéphane Berneau

      Stéphane Berneau answered on 8 Mar 2019:

      I didn’t have a famous scientist crush like most of us. However, I think the fact that my biology teachers in College and in University were so friendly and honest about what being a scientist is.

      At uni, I became passionated about the biology of the early develoment of foetus and also the reproductive biology. This had led to me to become a great scientist in the field of Human Reproductive Biology.

      If you find a topic and let it can evolve. This is my key to become a great scientist.

    • Photo: Hayley Pincott

      Hayley Pincott answered on 8 Mar 2019:

      I have to say my grandad. He always encouraged me to learn science and maths (even though I really struggled with these subjects!!) but I persevered and then he arranged for me to have a look around the pathology lab at my local hospital and I felt at home there straight away. I then started working in histology on a voluntary basis and moved to the biochemistry lab when a permanent full time post became available. That was nearly 20yrs ago, I have since moved to Cardiff and am in a specialist histology department. Even though I did struggle at school with science and maths, I listened to my grandad and I’m so glad I did because I feel very lucky to be in a job that I love.

    • Photo: Dmitry Dereshev

      Dmitry Dereshev answered on 8 Mar 2019:

      I liked to read as a child, and most of the books I had access to were encyclopaedias 🙂

      Once I got my hands on a computer in the early 2000s, my first games were science quizzes masqueraded as games.

      And once I discovered Wikipedia, I spent hours reading it, jumping from topic to topic.

      I did equally well in all classes in school, but that early access to the pop-science literature steered me towards more scientific endeavours later in life, I believe.

    • Photo: Ry Cutter

      Ry Cutter answered on 8 Mar 2019:

      Hi 566nbeq25,

      Like most of the other answers, there’s no one thing that stands out as a defining moment. For me, I’ve always liked understanding things. I have been very lucky in that my family and friends have always encouraged me to work hard and pursue the goals I want for myself.

      Another way of looking at it; I don’t actually want to be a “scientist”. I want to understand how the universe works, I want to see stars explode, I want to discover something! The best way to do that just happens to be being a scientist :p .

      Hope that helps in some way,


    • Photo: Emma Crawford

      Emma Crawford answered on 8 Mar 2019:

      My placement year at university inspired me to pursue my career I am working in today. I studied Maths at university because I was good at the subject and enjoyed it, knowing it should give me a variety of opportunities for jobs. After completing my 2nd year of my undergraduate degree I completed a 12-month placement in a pharmaceutical company working in clinical trials. I really enjoyed my time there and liked the idea of using my math skills to help improve patients lives. Colleagues on my placement reccommended I studied a Masters in Medical Statistics after completing my undergraduate degree to allow me to return for the industry – which is what I did! I am have now been working as a statistician on clinical trials for the past 4 years, and currently leading the statistics for 3 clinical trials which involves me having to plan how we will analyse the study data and how to present the results. I will be the first person to know if the drug studied in the clinical trial has been successful or not!

    • Photo: Agnes Wojtusiak

      Agnes Wojtusiak answered on 11 Mar 2019:

      I was “that annoying kid” who always asked “but why??” – but I was always so interested in why things happen and how the world works.
      I enjoyed all subjects at school, and science was the one thing that linked them all. You can find out so much about anything from art and sport to animals and the universe through science!! I loved that.

    • Photo: Agnes Wojtusiak

      Agnes Wojtusiak answered on 11 Mar 2019:

      Oh, and the movie “Meet the Robinsons” – it’s awesome!

    • Photo: Aoife Lucid

      Aoife Lucid answered on 11 Mar 2019:

      Like a lot of the other scientists here, it’s hard for me to point to one thing – I was always curious and liked taking things together to figure out how they worked. I just followed my interests if I’m being honest. I enjoyed the subjects in school and had very encouraging teachers. I also attended as many open days and career events that I could near the end of my time in secondary school, this meant I met a lot of scientists while I was still in school which increased my interest in science as a career. While I was in university I took part in as many research projects as I could so I could figure out which aspects of chemical physics I was most interested in and whether or not I wanted a career in research! (I did.)

    • Photo: Miriam Hogg

      Miriam Hogg answered on 14 Mar 2019:

      No specific person inspired me. My dad used to get the New Scientist magazine and I would often read the articles and I found all the research being done in every area really interesting. I took a GCSE in astronomy because I thought space was cool and after that I decided to either go into physics or computing (special effects specifically).

      I was terrible at coding when I did it at A-level so I went into physics instead! Funnily enough physics requires us to learn a coding language so I learned to code anyway! But by that time my heart was set on physics. I really enjoy it, every day is different and the problems I’m looking at at incredibly interesting and unique.

    • Photo: Renata Medeiros

      Renata Medeiros answered on 18 Mar 2019:

      Nature itself! The world is so beautiful and there are so many wonderful animals and plants, I just wanted to be surrounded by nature, learn more about it and help preserving it.

    • Photo: Nikolai Adamski

      Nikolai Adamski answered on 26 Mar 2019:

      I am a fan of science fiction. A classic sci-fi trope is that scientists develop the solution to a problem, for example a giant monster destroying Tokyo or a way to prevent the sun from exploding, etc.
      In the movies/books it is always the cool athletic “hero” guy that gets all the credit. I always thought that this was wrong, since without the scientists the “hero” guy would have been useless.
      So I wanted to become a scientist and help to solve problems.

    • Photo: Jordan Moir

      Jordan Moir answered on 8 Apr 2019:

      I was always inspired and excited by how things worked and the body always interested me at school. This is why I decided to pursue a career in science. When I was young I wanted to be an astronaut as space intrested me greatly and still does but I knew the likelihood of me completing a career in this would be challenging hence I changed path.