• Question: What inspired you to be a scientist?

    Asked by davenpma01 to Amelia, Jim, Liz, Prateek, Richard on 13 Jun 2011. This question was also asked by lozzy123, watsonka04, skye01, sellarsl02, toddem02, zarakiran, dysonkaratekid, alessia27, flanags03, katiearis, laineylol, kir2k11, zoyahussain, nush, alizahidriskhan, wharambc01, lawrencs01, charleypoolton, kaynul, kylie, samgreen12, patelv05, joycerl01, shazz.
    • Photo: Jim Caryl

      Jim Caryl answered on 12 Jun 2011:

      My Dad. He studied to be a marine biologist and went to work on the coast of East Africa for years, and then became a science teacher. He gave me a love of biology and every walk in the country was like a little science lesson, and fun because he was/is a fun Dad and good teacher.

    • Photo: Amelia Markey

      Amelia Markey answered on 12 Jun 2011:

      Unlike Jim I don’t have any scientists in my family. I don’t know where it came from really. I always loved biology at school and it was always my best subject (probably because I had really good teachers!). I just wanted to learn more and more so now I’m doing my PhD. I’ll probably still carry on being a scientist after I finish. There’s always more you can learn, there’s always new things to find and that’s why I love science.

    • Photo: Richard Badge

      Richard Badge answered on 12 Jun 2011:

      A lifelong interest in living things, always wanting to know how things work, and realising that scientists spend all their time trying to find out stuff!

    • Photo: Lizzard O'Day

      Lizzard O'Day answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      I don’t know. My parents have an essay I wrote in the 7th grade where I declared “I want to be a biochemist”- where I even heard the world I can’t tell you. What I do know is that it stuck and each day I fall more and more in love with what I do. It’s tough and requires a lot of dedication but it’s so fun. My parents are not in the sciences, neither are my bros. But something cool- my grammy was a chemistry major- back in the 1940s, a female in college was rare, a female chemistry major, well that is even more mind-blowing- she then went on to have 12 kids! That’s inspiring.

    • Photo: Prateek Buch

      Prateek Buch answered on 13 Jun 2011:

      I remember reading an article, in the New Scientist, when I was 15 (yeah, yeah, I was a real geek then – nothing’s changed :-)), about this new-fangled idea called gene therapy. The article was about how scientists had just constructed the first ever human artificial chromosome, and how they felt it could have been a good way of delivering genes to cells that didn’t function properly to cure disease. Turns out years later that isn’t the way most of us do gene therapy – we use viruses as vehicles to deliver the genes we’re interested in – but the idea sparked an interest enough to get me to where I am today!! Oh, and I was also inspired by the writings of Prof. Steve Jones (who I ended up being lectured by at UCL) and Prof. Richard Dawkins – genius science writers!