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What made you want to be a scientist?
Question Date: 2021-01-08
Answer 1:

Hi Madelynn, my name is Elias and I am a material scientist. That means that I use physics, chemistry, and math to think about the structures of materials, their properties, and how we can modify or engineer them to suit the needs of a particular application.

Everyday, I am learning something new and that is one of the reasons I chose to be a scientist: it's a never-ending learning process. As a scientist, I go into lab, seeking to answer particular questions with a series of experiments that will be able to provide clues about the answers. Inevitably though, new questions pop up in the process or after the original question has been answered and the scientific process renews itself.

Growing up, I knew I want to go into a profession where I felt that I was truly contributing something positive to the earth as I was motivated to fight back against climate change. Material science is a great avenue to pursue that goal as it provides me with the opportunity to work in the energy sector, developing technologies that are crucial to reducing human dependence on fossil fuels. However, there are a great deal of paths to that same goal and many scientific fields that focus on different aspects that are equally impactful.

Ultimately, science for me was a way to channel my curiosity in a noble and impactful way. The never-ending quest for knowledge in pursuit of a better world that science offers drew me and has kept me interested for many years.

Answer 2:

I've been asked this question many times and the honest answer is "I did not plan on it!"

I really did not know what science really was (a way of seeing and understanding the world as opposed to a set of facts) until I was well into college. Just going to college was a huge deal. I took advantage of opportunities to explore lots of subjects and get experience - I worked in a lab (by chance) and fell in love with it. It wasn't until even later still that I decided to have a career as a scientific researcher. I really didn't even know that was an option for me!

Ironically, I pretty much disliked "school" (but I loved learning and I was a big time reader). I have always been drawn to thinking about how things work, especially in the natural world, and I am just a naturally curious person. I remain fascinated by life and am astounded at how much we do not know. It seems when you are a student, your thick textbooks or your google search results suggest we already know most everything.

As a scientist, especially one who also trains scientists, I have a chance to learn something new every day and maybe make an impact, leaving the world a bit better. That is a big motivator for me - a way to give back. I hope you explore science - in its many forms - as an option! The only advice I can give is to try different things - avoid labeling yourself and instead think about your talents (natural abilities) and the skills you pick up along the way and then pursue a career or lifestyle that allows you to use those to achieve your personal goal(s).

Answer 3:

When I was in elementary school, my dad and I would have a lot of fun doing arts and crafts projects, working with electronics, constructing useful things for home, and doing small chemistry experiments. I really enjoyed doing experiments, trying things, and learning how something works. Eventually, after High School, I decided to study Chemistry because I could do experiments for my studies in this major. I really enjoyed it and decided that I want to continue working on research topics and enrolled into a PhD program to become a scientist.

Answer 4:

Science is all about curiosity! I love asking questions and trying to figure out the answer. In high school science classes, I realized I started asking questions that didn't really have answers yet. This fascinated me, because I realized there was still plenty of work out there to be done. I started to seriously consider a career in science when I was working in labs and taking more advanced classes. Being a part of the process of discovery - asking questions and having the tools available to give you real answers - is such an exciting feeling! Once you start down this path, there is no end to the kinds of questions you come up with and all the experiments you dream of performing.

The best part of being a scientist to me is making these experiments a reality. Nothing ever goes the way you expect - you get to troubleshoot, think creatively, go back to the drawing board, and try it again. Afterwards, you get to step back and look at what you've accomplished. You seldom get the results you expect, but the ones you do get tend to be even more interesting. Another great part of science is when you are surrounded by people who are just as excited as you are : )

Answer 5:

I was struck with wonder at the beauty of nature, and wanted to understand it, finding that learning more about said nature enabled me to appreciate nature's beauty even more.

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