• Question: If you made a huge scietific discovery wold you use the money from it to live a life of luxury or would you carry on with science trying to help save people's lives and seriously improve them?

    Asked by bairdcp01 to Amelia, Jim, Liz, Prateek, Richard on 13 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Amelia Markey

      Amelia Markey answered on 12 Jun 2011:

      Making a huge scientific discovery would be good enough.

      So much of our time is spent repeating things other people have done or doing things that don’t work. I’d love to think one day I’ll discover something really exciting. So I think that would be a bigger reward than any amount of money. If that discovery was also something that wasn’t just interesting but that really helped people then i don’t think you could ask for anything better. Hopefully my big discovery would lead to finding other things!

    • Photo: Jim Caryl

      Jim Caryl answered on 12 Jun 2011:

      I don’t think many scientists go into science for the money, we do it for the pure enjoyment of our subject. I’ve always said that if I won the lottery, I would still turn up for work the next day, but I would also help to fund students who wanted to do higher degrees in science, and also fund some of my own research.

      …I might take a few more holidays though! 😉

    • Photo: Richard Badge

      Richard Badge answered on 12 Jun 2011:

      Wow that’s funny! – reading Jim’s answer made me think how often I’ve said ‘If I won the lottery, I’d still be a scientist…”

      I think that for a lot of people being a scientist is not really like a regular job – its more like being paid to do your most favourite hobby, which is aweseome, but also a big responsibility – science is expensive.

      It amazing to think that we live in a world where science is valued highly enough that tax payers give up some of their income to make it happen…

      A hundred years ago mostly only rich people could afford to do or support science. Now if you are interested and determined enough anybody can contribute to scientific progress.


    • Photo: Lizzard O'Day

      Lizzard O'Day answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      Like Jessie J says in her “Price Tag” song- “it ain’t about the Cha-ching cha-ching aint about the ba-bling ba-bling– wanna make the world dance”. If I ever made a big discovery that did that- I know I’d constantly want to keep working, and keep tackling new problems, I’m a scientist because I want to help people. Don’t get me wrong though, I’d probably hit up a beach or two, just to figure out what to do next of course 😉

    • Photo: Prateek Buch

      Prateek Buch answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      I’m with everyone else here – the satisfaction of making a huge scientific discovery isn’t in the money, it’s in knowing that for years to come your work will have helped other scientists and people in ‘the real world’ in some big way… I won’t pretend that the prestige that comes with a major discovery or study in science isn’t a motivation for many of us, but money doesn’t really come into it for me…