Asked by :-P a kid on 21 Nov 2023. This question was also asked by murr492vat, fate492era, ward492bed, days492tam, pack492tam, Taryn1222, teed492ash, crina.
    • Photo: Ian McKinley

      Ian McKinley answered on 21 Nov 2023:

      An interesting question!
      I became a scientist because the subjects that I enjoyed most at school were chemistry, physics and maths. I then decided to study chemistry at university and have been a “scientist” ever since.
      However, the work I do now involves a range of colleagues who would be classed as engineers, mathematicians or computer programmers – so I could be doing the same kind of work even if I didn’t call myself a scientist.
      A strange example of this is my wife, who studied languages and law at university. Since we came to Switzerland 40 years ago, she has worked as a technical translator and we often overlap on projects – something I would never have considered possible when we were first married! She actually co-edited a textbook on geological disposal of radioactive waste, so many people also think she is a “scientist”.

    • Photo: Jonathan Allen

      Jonathan Allen answered on 21 Nov 2023:

      I have always been interested in how things work. When I was younger I loved building things (e.g. Lego) and taking things apart to see how to make them work better (e.g. toys, bike etc.) This didn’t always work very well, but I enjoyed the process and trying to understand what I was getting wrong so I could do better next time. This is what a scientist does – explores a problem to try to find the answer to questions and keep trying until we get the answer that solves the problem. So that inspired me to be a scientist, but my decision to be a climate change scientist was because I wanted to do something that would make a difference to the world – like many scientists throughout history – so that I leave the world as a better place then when I was born into it.

    • Photo: Octavia Brayley

      Octavia Brayley answered on 21 Nov 2023:

      My dad was the one who first got me interested in nature…we’d always go for long country walks and he would teach me about all the insects, birds, and other animals we’d see. I also went to lots of museums and watched lots of David Attenborough shows, so I was always really fascinated by animals, the diversity of life, how we evolved, and how we can protect the planet. But I really didn’t know you could be paid to study those things until I reached the end of my GCSEs! I’d stopped liking science during my GCSEs and I only did the combined course. But after watching the Africa series by David Attenborough and researching different careers, I changed my mind and went back to my passion. I wanted to be a scientist for three reasons; to discover brand new things that might add knowledge to the scientific community, to make a positive impact on the environment and to climate change, and to inspire other people (like you!) to get involved with science. And now I get to do all of those things! I felt that being a scientist would be the most rewarding job for me and I wanted to do something that would encourage and foster my curiosity. And I’m very glad I decided to go on this journey!

    • Photo: Amy Stockwell

      Amy Stockwell answered on 21 Nov 2023:

      I am curious about the world and want to learn all the time. Being a scientist allows me to do that!

      I was inspired to be a scientist because I loved science lessons at school. So I did science A-levels (physics, chemistry and maths) and a degree in chemistry. This naturally led to science based jobs.

    • Photo: Ollie Thomas

      Ollie Thomas answered on 21 Nov 2023:

      More than anything I am a scientist because I love to learn how things work and that’s what being a scientist is all about. As I grew up felt more and more that I wanted to do something as a job to make the world a better place and I feel like that is something being a scientist allows me to do.

    • Photo: Andrew Lyon

      Andrew Lyon answered on 22 Nov 2023:

      That’s a really good question. I was always interested in nature and the environment, partly because when I was younger my dad would always point out trees birds, trees and flowers. I was also interested in how things work so was drawn to subjects like chemistry and physics.

      I didn’t do very well at A-Level so instead of going to University I wanted to get a job with training and was lucky to get a type of apprenticeship where I did a day release in HNC Chemistry and then a diploma course which gave me the equivalent of a degree. Definitely the longer way round but shows that results aren’t everything and there are ways to get to where you want to go.

      Although I use science subjects like maths, chemistry and biology all the time it’s very different from what you do at school because it’s the practical application of certain parts of these subjects rather than studying a whole syllabus.

      I really like the variety that science provides, there’s a huge range of subjects and there’s always opportunities to learn new things so it never gets boring. Another great thing with science is that I get to solve problems and often need to be creative.

    • Photo: Hazel Jeffery

      Hazel Jeffery answered on 24 Nov 2023:

      I love learning about how things work, there are so many fascinating documentaries and discoveries that have been made. I am naturally curious and problem-solving I guess and where I grew up (in Oxfordshire) there are lots of large research facilities. When I was 11 years old I got to see inside the fusion reactor at Culham. My jobs have really been about understanding how the Earth’s environment works, what effect humans have on it and what can we do about making it better.