• Question: Why did you become a scientists

    Asked by jephson on 24 Apr 2020. This question was also asked by md1234, aodm2008.
    • Photo: Michael Nolan

      Michael Nolan answered on 24 Apr 2020:

      Hi and thanks for the question.
      This is a really common question and an important one.

      I wanted to be a pro soccer player, but discovered early on that I had two left wooden feet, so that dream died.
      In school I was always really good at maths and writing and found junior cert level science to be interesting and easy for me. So it was come fifth year that I got really interested as we moved deeper in chemistry, physics and maths and I ended up picking chemistry and german. First because I enjoyed chemistry and german because it was an opportunity to go away. That trip in third year of university exposed me to research in chemistry and made up my mind to do a PhD and keep doing research

      I didnt have much exposure to science as a kid in 1980s/1990s Ireland (most of us didnt!) and didnt have any particular “Aha” moment. I think it was a combination of lots of small moments that together pushed me in the direction of doing science. A good, supportive teacher also helps.

      I did read a lot as a kid which I think also helped and I was also partly inspired by a story I read about Stephen Hawking in 1992 and some books I read about atomic physics.

      Hope that helps answer your question.

    • Photo: Chloe Matthews

      Chloe Matthews answered on 29 Apr 2020:

      I was always curious and wanted to know how the world worked! Some of my earliest experiments featured the process of fermentation. Even though I didn’t really know what it was at the time, I was probably only 7 or 8!

    • Photo: Aisling Ryan

      Aisling Ryan answered on 29 Apr 2020:

      This is a great question, because funnily enough I never liked science when I was in school! It was only when I was in transition year and we did chemistry, biology, and physics as separate subjects that I realised I actually found the chemistry aspect of science really interesting. From here I looked at jobs that involve chemistry and found pharmacy as one. From there I found the course that I ended up studying in college called medicinal chemistry. I really love art and design but wasn’t keen on being an artist as my full-time job. The chemistry I do is called drug design and although it’s not the same as drawing a picture it really suits my ‘artistic’ way of thinking. (As a side-note you absolutely do not need to be artistic or creative to understand chemistry- everyone has their own way of understanding and relating to things and this is mine! Safe to say I know many chemists who are not artistic but are amazing with numbers, something I am not so talented with!)
      It was only when I was studying science in university that I became truly fascinated by it. I studied a really wide range of chemistry and biology for my first two years and was bewildered that I thought I wasn’t interested in this stuff! Always keep an open-mind!

    • Photo: Jun Lin

      Jun Lin answered on 29 Apr 2020:

      I was born in a family that admires scientists. I was motivated by them that I should study science.

    • Photo: Aruna Chandrasekar

      Aruna Chandrasekar answered on 29 Apr 2020:

      I always had a natural curiosity for the world around me. This curiosity combined with luck (as my parents always invested in my education) is what helped me become a scientist. Studying in good institutions meant I was able to interact with very inspiring and intelligent mentors at a very young age. Hence I had a lot of inspiration and mentorship to help me become a scientist.

    • Photo: Louise Mc Grath

      Louise Mc Grath answered on 30 Apr 2020:

      Hi jephson and md1234,

      I became a scientist because I really liked understanding why things worked. When I did science in school it really sparked my love for science!

    • Photo: Min Yap

      Min Yap answered on 30 Apr 2020:

      I always wanted to know how stuff worked, especially how food that was on our table came from its raw ingredient. That and I suppose a bit of natural curiosity made me go into science.

    • Photo: Lea Duran

      Lea Duran answered on 30 Apr 2020:

      When I was a teenager I would not have imagined to become a scientist! I thought you had to be a genius to become one (and I didn’t have many examples of women doing that too).
      But I loved learning new things all the time, so I just kept studying year after year because I was curious and always wanting to know more! After getting a bachelor and master I hesitated, worked a bit abroad, and then decided to start a PhD and finally kept working as a researcher. Also I feel like I’m useful to society doing my job, that’s important for me.

    • Photo: Hannah Currivan

      Hannah Currivan answered on 30 Apr 2020:

      I became a scientist because I wanted to know how the universe worked. When I was 14 years old I sent a letter to NASA saying that I wanted to work in the Space Industry when I grow up, and I received a letter back from NASA telling me about there careers, and the application process of becoming an Astronaut. So I highly recommend contacting space agencies, especially the European Space Agency and NASA.
      Some of my favorite shows are “The Universe” documentaries which use to be on the History channel. Another show I loved is the BBC show “Astronauts: Do you have what it takes”, and was very fortunate to have meet the winner and a runner up at a “Conference for Undergraduate Women in Physics (CUWiP) at Oxford University in March 2018. But the one live stream you most watch is “SpaceX” rocket launches, which are AMAZING!!!!!!! I have been watching SpaceX since Elon Musk announced the company back in 2002 when I was 7 years old, and I have been watching them ever since.

    • Photo: Aileen Doran

      Aileen Doran answered on 1 May 2020:

      I didn’t plan on becoming a scientist at all! I had put a single earth science programme on my CAO (just because my geography teacher talked about volcanoes at a college level and I thought they were cool), and that’s the course I ended up getting. I had fully planned on studying psychology or sociology because I was really interested in the way people think. But now, here I am a fully grown geologist! Not having a clue where I was going was the best thing for me!

    • Photo: Lucy Blennerhassett

      Lucy Blennerhassett answered on 6 May 2020:

      I became a geoscientist because I have had a fascination with the natural world and our planet since I was a kid! When I realised that you could study about how our Earth works I knew that was where I wanted to be 🙂