• Question: what inspired you to become the type of scientist that you are today?

    Asked by beep354bat to Savannah, Philippe, Lucy, Joanna, Harrison, Edoardo on 19 Jun 2019.
    • Photo: Philippe Gambron

      Philippe Gambron answered on 19 Jun 2019:

      All that happens little by little. First you are curious about Nature and passionate about certain topics. Then, once you know more, you start refining your choice and moving into something you really like. So it’s a continuous process where you try to get closer and closer to the things you like.

    • Photo: Savannah Clawson

      Savannah Clawson answered on 19 Jun 2019:

      I’d always enjoyed science growing up but I think I honestly stuck with it because I was stubborn and liked to prove people wrong. Lots of people think that physics (the science I do) is more of a boy’s subject which is absolute rubbish! The more I studied physics, the more I realised that I loved it as a subject and I didn’t want to stop learning about how the world around me works. This is why I chose to study physics at university. I also loved watching Brian Cox documentaries on the BBC 😉
      When I was at university, the exact type of physics that I liked the most changed a lot and I actually thought I was going to be a nuclear physicist who worked with radioactive atoms. I had a bad work placement that put me off nuclear physics but I got to work at CERN in Switzerland where I saw lots of people who worked with particles. I thought that what they did seemed super cool and I liked the idea of working with one of the world’s largest experiments (the LHC)! So I applied for a PhD not really knowing what to expect or whether I was good enough to do it – and now here I am (and I wouldn’t change it for the world)

    • Photo: Harrison Prosper

      Harrison Prosper answered on 19 Jun 2019:

      When I was about 20, I realized that what really intrigued me is understanding things about the universe at the most basic level. I was excited by questions such as: what is space, what is time, will they end, what is an electron, does its mass and its charge reside in the same place, does that even make sense? I thought that particle physics was the science most likely to be able to answer these questions. Of course, they turned out to be hugely more difficult to answer than naive 20-year old me had imagined!

    • Photo: Joanna Huang

      Joanna Huang answered on 19 Jun 2019:

      For me, it was my summer student internship at CERN, working on the large hadron collider 🙂 It was my first time learning about and researching particle physics, and I felt really inspired. This was also the same time that the LHC started running again and smashing particles at a world record high-energy! I remember my whole building getting up and cheering when it happened, and I felt in that moment this was where I belong.

    • Photo: Lucy Budge

      Lucy Budge answered on 19 Jun 2019:

      My chemistry teacher in senior school was a big inspiration for me. He was always encouraging me to ask as many questions as I could, and to do my own research and find out things for myself. This has definitely helped to encourage my curiosity which is important as a scientist!

    • Photo: Edoardo Vescovi

      Edoardo Vescovi answered on 19 Jun 2019:

      I got interested in my research topic in the last years at university, thanks to the courses and professors that I liked the most.