Kind of yes, kind of no! In school I thought about being a biologist, an astronomer, a vet… all these things still sound interesting to me, but ultimately I chose to go into computing. For a while I worked in tech support, then I worked updating websites for a mattress company. When I got bored of that I decided to look for another job, and ended up working for a company that had close ties to a university. That was when I realised that working in academia and science was actually pretty cool – I had collaborators across the world, and got to travel to Germany and Italy to meet with them. In Italy, some of the code I wrote was used to coordinate evacuations for a World War 2 bomb disposal! That totally blew my mind. Later on, a job came up at Cambridge University, and when I got the job I was so happy – writing code whilst working in a science lab is so fulfilling. I literally get paid for doing stuff I want to do anyway!
I dind’t always. I basically discovered it at uni. I like that science helps us find out new things. In contrast to areas like philosophy or religion, I also enjoy about science that there is less room to argue. Most (not all) of the time, something in science is right or wrong. No opinion required. My fellow scientists might disagree 🙂
In school I always wanted to go into medicine. I got a place at UCL study it, but didn’t work hard enough for my A-levels and didn’t get the grades. Luckily UCL accepted me to do biomedical sciences and I worked very hard to make up for my A-level laziness!
I got a summer project in a neuroscience lab and loved it. I did a masters in neuroscience and then got accepted in to medical school later, but decided to do a PhD in neuroscience at UCL instead.
Apart from talking to the public about brains, the part I love best about science is sometimes you get to go home doing something no-one’s done before, or knowing something that no-one else in the world knows!
I knew I wanted to keep studying science when I left school, and that desire’s never really left me. I just love discovering new things and learning more about the natural world – I find it really enhances my enjoyment of the things I see around me, and I love being able to come up with (at least semi-accurate) explanations for how and why things work.