• Question: who was your inspiration to become a scientist?

    Asked by anon-319053 on 9 Mar 2022. This question was also asked by anon-319711, anon-320553, anon-320559, anon-313614, anon-322226.
    • Photo: Matt Kasoar

      Matt Kasoar answered on 9 Mar 2022:

      For me, two of my teachers at school were quite influential to me – my GCSE physics teacher and my 6th form biology teacher. Both had been research scientists before becoming teachers and gave me a lot of advice when I was trying to decide which universities to apply to and which subject to apply for, and made me a lot more confident that I wanted to study physics. Even then I wasn’t sure I wanted to pursue a career in academia, and it was one of my tutors at uni who suggested that I should do a PhD, which I eventually did and haven’t looked back since 😛

    • Photo: Samuel Hall

      Samuel Hall answered on 9 Mar 2022:

      Hi Lillie E, my biggest inspiration for becoming an Engineer was Guy Martin. Guy maddly enjoys what he does for a living, and that’s evident in the shows he presents. It made me realise that that’s what I wanted out of my future job when I was at school, to really really enjoy my work. So after getting stuck into a range of subjects at school I found that helping people through engineering was what drove me and that lead me down my current career path. So my advice to you is to have a go at as many different subjects as possible and find the one that you really really enjoy!!

    • Photo: Daisy Shearer

      Daisy Shearer answered on 10 Mar 2022:

      The biggest reason I became a scientist is that I really enjoy learning about the world around me and using our understanding of that to make useful technology 👩‍🔧

      I’ve also been quite heavily inspired by Emmy Noether who was a mathematician/theoretical physicist. She didn’t let the fact that she was a woman stop her from studying and lecturing maths even though women weren’t allowed to at the time. She really was a trailblazer and her theories are used widely across physics fields to help us explain all sorts of things from black holes to particles. If you’d like to learn more about her, this is a nice article from New Scientist: https://www.newscientist.com/people/emmy-noether/

    • Photo: Alistair McShee

      Alistair McShee answered on 10 Mar 2022:

      I didn’t really have one defining inspiration; when I was younger I wanted to be an inventor like Wallace, from Wallace & Gromit, and actually I now realise that these kind of jobs do exist and they just aren’t called “inventor” any more!

      Eventually I think it was natural curiosity: I was forever trying to understand how things worked, and this meant replacing the battery on my laptop, fixing the drive belt on the vacuum cleaner, and attempting to salvage my mum’s phone when she accidentally put it through the washing machine 😂😂 These are all small things, but the “how does this work” mentality easily extends into the sciences, and is often a great help in designing an experiment!

    • Photo: Jamie Smith

      Jamie Smith answered on 10 Mar 2022:

      Hi, thanks for your question!

      I first found interest in science from watching Robot Wars because I really wanted to learn how to make robots and take part.

      There are also a few scientists in my family so they were great inspirations for me!

    • Photo: Luke Humphrey

      Luke Humphrey answered on 10 Mar 2022:

      I find Carl Sagan to be a very inspiring scientist. His series “Cosmos: A Personal Voyage” was produced in 1980 but is still so relevant today, even after four decades of scientific advancement.

      In terms of deciding to apply for this job, I was not inspired by a person, but by a desire to contribute something useful to humanity. Our greatest challenge at the moment is climate change. The key aspect of the solution is providing carbon neutral energy. I believe fusion energy is the only way to do this for future generations.

    • Photo: Victoria Fawcett

      Victoria Fawcett answered on 10 Mar 2022:

      Great question!

      It was mainly my mum, who was a maths teacher and so always encouraged me to do science and maths at school. It also meant that, as a girl, I didn’t think it was as weird that I was a girl who loved science because my mum loved science! Unfortunately I know a lot of girls that maybe are not as encouraged as much because they are told to do english or art since they are more “girls” subjects. Why can’t we just do whatever we like?

      Another inspiration was my A level Physics teachers – until my A levels, I was set on doing maths at university. It was only during A levels that I realised Physics was also really cool and so I ended up studying both Maths and Physics at uni 🙂

    • Photo: Martha Hilton

      Martha Hilton answered on 11 Mar 2022:

      My Mum was an inspiration for a lot of my career. She isn’t a scientist herself but she always encouraged me to pursue what I wanted to do and was a great woman role model for me.

    • Photo: Lucy Lawrence

      Lucy Lawrence answered on 14 Mar 2022:

      Lillie, I love this question! Great job ✨✨🥰

      My inspiration was my grandad, he LOVES science, and growing up he’d ask me a lot of science questions and would tell me lots of science facts.

    • Photo: Alex Headspith

      Alex Headspith answered on 16 Mar 2022:

      Great question.

      I have two sources of inspiration. The first of whom is my Grandad, who worked for a company that made huge engines such as those in boats or generators. He, along with the rest of my family inspired me to follow the path I wanted to follow – and from a young age I was always messing about building things.

      As for the second – I was a fan of F1 from a young age, but more interested in the engineering side than the driving. I liked to know how the cars worked and why they were designed like they where. The person who sticks in my mind for this is Adrian Newey, who currently works for Red Bull F1 but is responsible for a load of huge F1 designs and has won multiple world championships because of them. He really pushed the development of design in F1 – and that inspired me to go into a design career. At the end of the day, there’s more crossover between accelerators and F1 than you would think!