• Question: what age did you get into science and why

    Asked by silv on 1 Jun 2019. This question was also asked by bana12, teebee, kacixo, reggiejacobs, margaretxoxo, cloudy, sksk.
    • Photo: Rebecca Moon

      Rebecca Moon answered on 1 Jun 2019:


      We are all scientists from the moment we are born. I watched my toddler doing an experiment yesterday where he was putting a ball and a cube down a marble run. Clearly the cube got stuck and I had to retrieve it many times, but he was using this experiment to learn about shapes, gravity etc.

      I really enjoyed science in primary school and new very early on I wanted to be a doctor so chose my a levels to achieve that. Whilst at medical school I realised I loved the science behind medicine as well as treating the patients, so I’ve been doing my own research as well as being a doctor. It’s a great combination.

    • Photo: Marianne King

      Marianne King answered on 1 Jun 2019:


      I had a computer game called ‘My Amazing Human Body’ which was given to me when I was 4 I think. It covered so much and it was definitely that that made me fall in love with how the body works. The game sadly won’t work on my PC anymore as it’s far too old!

      Science was always one of my favourite subjects at school, but it was my grandmother being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease that made me really focus on choosing the right GCSEs and A levels so that I could study biomedical science at university. I became very focussed on becoming a scientist so that I could eventually end up doing research to help people with brain diseases.

    • Photo: Kaitlin Wade

      Kaitlin Wade answered on 1 Jun 2019:


      I’ve always been interested in biology and how things in the natural world work. My first memory of me being really excited about science was probably not until I looked under my first microscope at an onion membrane in GCSE biology. I remember then thinking, this is cool, I want to be a scientist.

    • Photo: Aina Roca Barcelo

      Aina Roca Barcelo answered on 1 Jun 2019:


      If you ask my parents they will say I have always been into science… I think I was a bit of a nightmare always wanting to know the “why” of things, never satisfied with simple answers. Ups!

      But for me, I would say that the moment I realized I wanted to do science was probably around 16 years old. At that age, I had to face the death of my grandad (who I was really close to) due to a cancer. That made me realize that I could do something useful with my interest and skills in science and decided to pursue a career in Health Sciences. I guess there was a bit of the “I want to save the world!” kind of idea behind that drive. Looking back today, I don’t regret at all my decision, and despite I may not have the power to change the WHOLE world there are things I can influence to change. And that is one of the most rewarding feelings!

    • Photo: Kate Timms

      Kate Timms answered on 1 Jun 2019:


      I always loved science, but I loved lots of other things too. I loved history (especially the mythology bits) and football and photography. So I didn’t really know what I wanted to be. I was always changing my mind.
      When I was in school I didn’t really know that being a scientist was a real thing. I knew scientists existed but they were always really old and usually men. I thought that the closest thing to being a scientist I could be was to be a medical doctor.
      But then when I was 16, we went on a class trip to a lab and I met actual scientists! They were young and real and doing a job that I didn’t even know was my dream. From that day on I knew I had to be a scientist.
      Best decision I ever made!

    • Photo: Nina Rzechorzek

      Nina Rzechorzek answered on 1 Jun 2019: last edited 1 Jun 2019 1:59 pm


      Wow this is a hard one – I don’t remember ever not being fascinated by how things work, especially animals (including humans!). Some of my earliest exposure to science was thanks to my parents (who weren’t scientists); they used take my brother and I to the science museum in London – such a great place for kids to see and discover things. There’s so many more opportunities for kids to get involved in science now and the internet has really opened things up – grab every opportunity that comes your way! I think the first time I really knew I would end up in science was my work experience week at school – my best friend’s parents let me work with them at a government research lab that was trying to understand how brain disorders like BSE (‘mad cow disease’) developed. That was it, somehow my career would involve brains and animals and many years later these are still my favourite things! We are only just starting to understand how the brain works and that’s the first step towards being able fix it.

    • Photo: Shobhana Nagraj

      Shobhana Nagraj answered on 1 Jun 2019:


      Thanks for the question – it really made me think! I think my love of science has crept up on me without me even realising! I’ve always been really curious about nature and animals – watching endless David Attenborough documentaries since I was about 4! I guess my first real love of science started in primary school, when we were asked to look after some eggs, watch them hatch and grow into ducks. I was amazed by the whole process, and how perfectly everything happened in it’s own time, and how nature knew exactly what to do and when. I have always followed my curiosity. I wanted to learn more about how things grow, what makes nature behave in a certain way. Science has helped me to understand more about this, and answer some of these questions!

    • Photo: Rachel Hardy

      Rachel Hardy answered on 2 Jun 2019:


      I first remember becoming fascinated by science in the later stages of primary school. I bought a series of weekly comics from the ‘horrible science’ collection, from which I was able to about learn a variety of topics including organ function and diseases like the plague! I also completed a few experiments at home from these magazines, including swabbing house hold objects like the tv and seeing what bacteria grew on them, to growing my own crystals. I also remember being fascinated back in very early science lessons, watching salt dissolve in water but other foods remain completely solid in the water. I grew to enjoy questioning why things happen in a certain way, testing things with unknown results and learning how science can be applied in daily life. I loved the fact that with science, there is still so much that is unknown – and that it is our job as the next generation of scientists to push forward on trying to answer these unknowns.

    • Photo: James Streetley

      James Streetley answered on 3 Jun 2019:


      I’m not sure. Like many of the other scientists, I don’t really remember *not* being into science. Some of strongest memories from primary school are of science and technology lessons. At secondary school, I realised it was what I got the best grades in, so I just kept on following that path and getting good marks.

    • Photo: Matthew Burgess

      Matthew Burgess answered on 3 Jun 2019:


      I remember having lots of books about the solar system when I was at primary school. Loved chemistry from the start of secondary school. Think it was about halfway through GCSEs that biology started to click for me, when it started moving into cellular biology and physiology.

      As long as you’re inquisitive about how things work you’re into science I say.

    • Photo: Ettie Unwin

      Ettie Unwin answered on 3 Jun 2019:


      I enjoyed maths and science at school but wasn’t necessarily interested in being a scientist then. I would tell anyone I wanted to be a teacher. What’s great is that now as an academic I can do both science and teach. When I was younger I was always questioning why things are how they are – now I get to spend my days answering those questions.

    • Photo: Ross Hill

      Ross Hill answered on 3 Jun 2019:


      Children and young people are just more curious about the natural world, and that is exactly where becoming a scientist begins, when we are young.

      I remember when I was very young I used to help my granddad in the garden, I wasn’t much help at all, but I enjoyed getting close to all of the butterflies, beetles and ants living in the garden. At the time, I simply thought they were beautiful, I didn’t really think about “how they worked” or “what makes an ant and ant”, I just thought they were pretty to look at. But from that initial curiosity came (admittedly with age and with education) the desire to know more about the natural world.

      And as scientists that is our aim, to understand how the world and all those who live in it work.

    • Photo: Deepak Chandrasekharan

      Deepak Chandrasekharan answered on 3 Jun 2019:


      I used to spend summers during primary school with my grandparents. I was bored and would mess around the house and get into trouble.

      One day when I was about 8, I was given a book of home science experiments (like making salt crystals, planting seeds and actually seeing how they germinate in a see-through plastic cup, making a string phone). I loved this and it was great fun as this was my chance to play with purpose and learn how stuff worked in the process. Since then I’ve always tried to do some science and especially experiments!

    • Photo: Thiloka Ratnaike

      Thiloka Ratnaike answered on 3 Jun 2019:


      I loved science from when I was in primary school. I remember collecting all sorts of random ‘experimenty’ bits like funnels and plastic tubes, gloves, pots…anything I could find. I am not sure now what I was trying to achieve then, but clearly something that could have been amazing in my 7 year old mind! It must have been after a little group activity at school which got me thinking about experiments. If you have a bit of curiosity, then you definitely have the potential to love science!

    • Photo: Ambre Chapuis

      Ambre Chapuis answered on 4 Jun 2019:


      I can’t even remember a time when I did not like science ! I remember as a kid playing in the garden and already carry out some little experiments on my own. I was looking and identifying the different animals, try to care for them. One of the best present my parents gave me I think, was a little microscope for my 10th birthday. I become obsess with investigating everything and nothing sometimes, my sister saw me as a mad scientist (she is not wrong 😉 ). My curiosity keep increasing and science was the best way to found answers and I am so happy with what I am doing now.

    • Photo: Alex Blenkinsop

      Alex Blenkinsop answered on 4 Jun 2019:


      I was never very confident in traditional science (biology, chemistry, physics) and always thought I was way more on the creative side because I loved English Literature and French classes. It wasn’t until I decided to study Maths at university that I realised science doesn’t have to just be in lab. I love working with numbers and statistics because it gives me a really good understanding of published research which end up as the headlines you read in the newspaper, and how they came up with their numbers. You can use modelling to both explain relationships between things and also to predict things for the future – and I find that really exciting!

    • Photo: Matthew Bareford

      Matthew Bareford answered on 13 Jun 2019:


      I got into science seriously at the age of 7 when my grandad brought me a home chemistry kit. This led me to trying out all kinds of experiments of my own at home!!

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