• Question: What is it like being a scientist and what things do you create,research or find out?

    Asked by maxmaarten on 2 Mar 2020. This question was also asked by oliviasands.
    • Photo: Paige Chandler

      Paige Chandler answered on 2 Mar 2020:

      Hi maxmaarten! Being a scientist is hard work, but can be very rewarding. I work in Neurobehavioural Genetics, which means I work on looking at the link between changes in genes, and changes in behaviour and brain structure. I’m currently researching how mutations in genes can lead to schizophrenia. I haven’t discovered anything so far, but I’m still very early in my project, but initial results are promising!

    • Photo: Sarah Carter

      Sarah Carter answered on 2 Mar 2020:

      Hello! I think being a scientist is a really interesting mixture of excitement and frustration. I am always really interested in and excited by the things I am studying, which means it can sometimes be frustrating and disappointing if analyses don’t work out, if data isn’t available, or if academic journals reject the papers I’ve written. However, I still love what I’m doing, which helps a lot! I work at an epidemiology research unit, which means that I answer questions about health in populations using statistical analyses. I’m currently looking into whether the diets of parents and grandparents influence the bone health of their children and grandchildren (and I’m finding that they do!).

    • Photo: Samir Hopestone

      Samir Hopestone answered on 2 Mar 2020:


      Being a scientist requires dedication and effort, but is very rewarding when you discover something new. I look at how different proteins interact with each other and how they do their job. Recently I was studying proteins that are involved in diabetes and brain development. We found out that the brain protein interacts with many other proteins, and are in the process of identifying those proteins.

    • Photo: Nuru Noor

      Nuru Noor answered on 2 Mar 2020:

      Being a scientist or researcher is awesome! 🙋

      I work and learn about clinical trials every day. Clinical trials are great for improving health for people who get medical conditions, but usually they treat everybody in the same way.

      I want to show that this “one-size-fits-all” approach can probably be improved – and that by treating each person as an individual is better, this is something called personalised or individualised medicine 🎯 It’s a really cool topic and means I get to see and help look after looks of people who come to hospital and get them feeling better 👍

    • Photo: Robyn Kiy

      Robyn Kiy answered on 2 Mar 2020:

      Being a scientist is really interesting, and it is fun and exciting when you get to try out new techniques or discover something new! It can definitely be challenging and disappointing when things don’t go to plan, but I think the positives outweigh the negatives without a doubt.

      My area of interest is drug safety, so I research how our DNA (this is the stuff that carries the instructions to decide what a living organism will look like and how it functions) can make some people react differently to medicines than other people do. I am hoping to find certain sections of DNA that are responsible for these differences to make it easier to give the right medicines to the right patients and keep everyone as safe as possible!

    • Photo: Ioana Grigoras

      Ioana Grigoras answered on 2 Mar 2020:

      I think being a scientist is pretty cool. You have good days when you are running experiments and analyse data and you feel productive, but there are also bad days when you realise you’ve done something wrong about an experiment or that you made a small mistake that means you have to do again all of last week’s work. In my field, work is pretty flexible and there are no set work hours, which I like, because I am not really a morning person.

      I am interested in what changes in people’s brain when they learn new patterns of movement. I design experiments in order to study learning new motor tasks and I write a computer programme similar to a video game, where people need to press buttons in a certain order. I ask volunteers to come and practice this task. Then I ask them to lie down in an MRI scanner and I take pictures of their brains. My research is all about analysing those images and figuring out what are the mechanisms behind motor learning.

    • Photo: Sarah Brown

      Sarah Brown answered on 2 Mar 2020:

      I think that being a scientist is pretty cool – It’s always nice to know lost of interesting facts and learn new things every day. I use maths to learn about asthma. Most people with asthma can use an inhaler when they have an asthma attack and this makes them feel better – but for some people this doesn’t work 🙁. This means that when they have an asthma attack it could make them very ill! By using maths to learn about the changes in the airways of these people, we can try and find out when and why this might happen and possibly even find a new way of helping them!

    • Photo: Lotte de Winde

      Lotte de Winde answered on 3 Mar 2020:

      I is great to be a scientist and discover something new. In the long run, I hope that my research on how lymph nodes (the central glands in your body where immune cells come together and get activated) work will help patients that suffer from lymphoma (cancer of immune cells in the lymph node). This motivates me to continue my research, even when it sometimes is a lot of work and not everything I do works the first (or second, or third) time.

    • Photo: M S

      M S answered on 3 Mar 2020:

      Being a scientist is interesting. I think with most jobs you have things you enjoy and things that are difficult. It’s the same with being a scientist. Some days go great. Others not so much.

      My project uses mice and im trying to look at how or body makes things to make us better. I will be looking at lung infections like the cold in asthma and see what happens

    • Photo: Kate Mitchell

      Kate Mitchell answered on 3 Mar 2020:

      Being a scientist is really varied! Many days I spend at my computer, writing code, doing mathematical or statistical analyses, or writing up my findings. Other days I might teach students, or give or hear talks or discuss my work with others. Scientists in other areas might have completely different activities! In my role, I create and work with computer ‘models’ or simulations of diseases spreading in poopulations. I mainly work on HIV, and I try to find out how HIV spreads in particular populations and the best ways to stop it spreading.

    • Photo: Sarah Clarke

      Sarah Clarke answered on 3 Mar 2020:

      I think being a scientist is great – its a job which requires you to be really nosy and keep on asking “why?”. I work on information from our genes (genetic data) and try to use this information to understand why some children get arthritis and some don’t. I do this so that we can try and work out which children will get sickest so that we can help them as early as possible. Over time I hope this will also help us to discover new treatments.

    • Photo: Sophie Arthur

      Sophie Arthur answered on 4 Mar 2020:

      I love being a scientist. It’s tough at times but really really rewarding when you reach your goals.

      As I don’t work in a lab anymore, I don’t research or find things out myself unfortunately. Instead, all my colleagues do amazing research in lots of different fields such as artificial intelligence, obesity, the microbiome, neuroscience and more. But then I get to learn about all these different areas which is great for someone like me who just likes to learn. Then I get to turn their research into a written story, a video, social media posts or try and get them coverage in the press. I still get to be a scientist but I get to be creative too

    • Photo: Nathan Kindred

      Nathan Kindred answered on 4 Mar 2020:

      Being a scientist is a lot of work but also very interesting and rewarding! No two days are the same and when you can see you’re making real progress towards answering a question no one has answered before it feels amazing.

    • Photo: Andrea Kusec

      Andrea Kusec answered on 6 Mar 2020:

      Being a scientist is tough but I really love it. There is a lot of paperwork involved when working with patients, but it ends up being worth it. I try and understand how depression happens after brain injury. Lots of people lose their job, or have a hard time making friends, leading to fewer enjoyable moments. We know that happy moments such as having a game day with friends is very important in preventing depression, but people with brain injury might not have the skills to make the happy moments happen very easily because of their difficulties with attention and memory. I’ve created a behavioural treatment that is focused on helping people with brain injury plan and engage in enjoyable activities in order to help overcome their depression.