• Question: what are you ambitions and what effects, good or bad, will it have on the world?

    Asked by mortyhound to Amelia, Jim, Liz on 23 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Amelia Markey

      Amelia Markey answered on 23 Jun 2011:

      I’d like to hope that I don’t have any bad effects on the world (so that could be one of my ambitions).

      I would really like to make a contribution to science whether that’s through my research or telling you guys about how cool science is and encouraging the next generation of scientists.

      Hopefully I’ve made a reasonable job at the second ambition! 🙂

      It would also be really amazing to win a Nobel prize for making a new technology or discovering a cure to a disease!

    • Photo: Jim Caryl

      Jim Caryl answered on 23 Jun 2011:

      I only want to have good effects on the world.

      I do what I do because I want a world where my family and friends do not risk death because they contract a bacteria infection. I want us to know as much as possible about antibiotic resistance so that we can stop its spread. As my family and friends get older, so their risk of serious side effects from infections increases, and so it is for this reason that I want my work to be useful in this regard. More than that, I have always wanted my work to be immediately useful.

      People talk about ‘fundamental’ science and ‘applied’ science. The fundamental side of things is very academic, but is absolutely necessary to generate the knowledge that underpins much of how we understand the world, but ‘applied’ is where I work, which is where we take our fundamental data and apply it directly to real world problems; our lab actively tests new antibiotics, and searches for new ones; and my project is aimed at understand how long antibiotic resistance would persist in different environments, so people making decisions about which antibiotics are best to use, and when, are better informed.