• Question: Have you always liked science? If not, why did you go into this field?

    Asked by Olivia to Jonathan, Kellie, Kevin, Melissa, Stephanie on 23 Apr 2016. This question was also asked by Zaina, 689hemb33, ........ The original, Gymnast, Brendan.
    • Photo: Kevin Baker

      Kevin Baker answered on 23 Apr 2016:

      In high school, I did not like science. I felt it was very boring and I was not interested. I was like this until my sophomore year in college when I took a chemistry course. I was completely in love with the subject and how it made me think. It challenged me in a way I did not get from my other classes and my professors loved to teach it. They inspired me to pursue science.

      I picked microbiology by chance, actually. I knew I had to do science, but I could not pick which one. So a friend and I randomly picked a major (which I do not recommend!). As it turns out, I enjoyed the subject a lot and continued with it!

    • Photo: Kellie Jaremko

      Kellie Jaremko answered on 23 Apr 2016:

      I have always liked science although I didn’t know about neuroscience and the brain very much at all when I was young.

      When I was little I made everything into an experiment like making face paint from rock dust, raising a caterpillar into a beautiful moth that hatched the next spring, and learning how to bake, which is actually a lot like chemistry.

      I got into neuroscience because I figured that was the best way to treat the pain I found out a family member suffered from. When I went to college and actually got to see and learn about brains I was hooked.

    • Photo: Stephanie Moon

      Stephanie Moon answered on 23 Apr 2016:

      Hi 677hemb28–
      I don’t think that science was ever my favorite class or subject in school. I found out that I liked doing science when I learned that doing science was so much more than just memorizing facts, and that it was more about asking cool questions that didn’t have a known answer (and then trying to find out what that answer might be). This didn’t happen in any classes I took until I was in my junior year of high school- we had a great psychology teacher that let us design our own experiments and do a tiny scientific study on something we were actually interested in. I always loved the outdoors and learning about plants and animals, and finding out that I could use science to understand more about them made me really interested in pursuing a career in research.

    • Photo: Melissa Wilson Sayres

      Melissa Wilson Sayres answered on 24 Apr 2016:

      I always liked science and experiments, but never did the kind of science that I’m doing now. In fact, I was always intimidated by computer programming, and didn’t take any classes or training in computer science until I went to graduate school. I went into computational evolutionary biology because I always liked mathematics and logic, and realized that by learning programming (basically, a new language with logic), I could answer meaningful biological questions.

    • Photo: Jonathan Jackson

      Jonathan Jackson answered on 25 Apr 2016:

      You know what’s interesting to me? How differently I thought about science in high school versus how I think about science now.

      I kinda liked science in high school – it was fun learning about chemistry, biology, physics, trigonometry, and calculus. But it always felt like a dusty set of rules that I had to learn. There were formulas in textbooks, a set of homework problems. Rules were rigid, set from time immemorial.

      But here’s the funny thing about science: it changes and grows and moves like a living thing. The dry, dusty rules were just the beginning. It’s like learning the rules to a complicated game. Once you figure out the basics, you can do all kinds of amazing things! For me, the amazing thing that I get to do is look at the human brain and try to figure out new ways to detect and prevent Alzheimer’s disease. But there’s not a rulebook or a roadmap – I’m asking questions that have never been asked before, learning things that have never been known before, and I get to be as creative as any artist. It’s a fantastic job I do every day, and I wouldn’t say that you need to love science in middle school and high school in order to be a promising scientist. You just need to be curious, and curious enough about one thing in particular to chase after it all the way through school and training.