• Question: What is your best and worse thing as a scientist?

    Asked by jammydodger27x to Laura, Nicola, Norman, Sandra, Thanasis on 15 Mar 2013. This question was also asked by chloeh1999, masherladd, samsnow.
    • Photo: Laura Soul

      Laura Soul answered on 15 Mar 2013:

      There’s lots of really good things about being a scientist so its hard to choose that one but I would say the best thing is when I discover something new. So that might be when I’m out doing fieldwork somewhere and I find a new rock or fossil, or it might be when I’m in my office doing computer simulations or experiments and my experiment finishes and I find out something new about how evolution or extinction works that no one else has found out before, that’s really exciting so that’s the best thing.

      The worst thing is probably when you’ve spent ages doing an experiment or trying to figure something out and then it doesn’t work. You have to find out why it didn’t work then fix and start all over again. It’s ok though because then its even better when it does work in the end.

    • Photo: Nicola Wardrop

      Nicola Wardrop answered on 15 Mar 2013:

      Hmmm. Best thing is getting do work that I think is really interesting, so I dont get bored all the time, but that I also think is quite useful!

      Worst thing…I’d agree with Laura – it can take a while to get something to work the first time you try it, and if you don’t know why its not working it is very frustrating. But the the more frustrating it is when it doesn’t work – the better the feeling when you finally get it to work…you feel like you have really achevied something!

    • Photo: Sandra Phinbow

      Sandra Phinbow answered on 15 Mar 2013:

      The best thing is the patients! When the tests you carry out turned out to be negative, and the patient is going to fine and make a full recovery, its the best thing in the world. And if you have seen them in a clinic, the relief on their faces is just wonderful.

      And the opposite is the worst thing 🙁 They are sometimes so poorly that the tests you carry out confirm the worst news, and that they will die. You feel genuinely sad for these patients – they might be young, or close to your own age. Sometimes it’s actually quite upsetting. You never get used to that side of the work, and no matter how many hundreds of patients we see a week, you never switch off to human sadness. Luckily most people get better.