• Question: What made you so interested in research, why not something else?

    Asked by dc1303 to Andreas, Arianna, Daniel, Gergely, Imogen, Joel, Kanta, Mario, Martin, Mary-Kay, Nayeli, Ophélie, Patrick, Pawan, Priyanka, Raquel, Rohan, Sabina, Sami, Sam, Sarah, Tom on 20 Sep 2017. This question was also asked by lorcan, justinbieber.
    • Photo: Sarah Finnegan

      Sarah Finnegan answered on 20 Sep 2017:


      I think I always liked to solve problems and so I just kept going with topics I thought were interesting and when I met interesting people i’d find out what they did and go along with them if I could to see if I enjoyed it as well!

    • Photo: Sam Parsons

      Sam Parsons answered on 20 Sep 2017:


      I’ve always wanted to find the answers to my own questions. The best way is to research the problems that you are interested in, I think. Like Sarah, what helps to keep me interested are the super interesting, diverse, and intelligent people!

    • Photo: Imogen Goold

      Imogen Goold answered on 20 Sep 2017:


      I like being allowed to think for myself, and my research lets me do that. For a little while, I had a job where I was told what I had to think and write, including writing a report that completely contradicted what I had argued in my doctorate! That made me decide to come to Oxford and go into academia as a career.

      I fell into medical ethics and law quite late on, after a conference, where I discovered you could combine the two and think about what we should do in really complicated medical situations and how the law could make that happen. That involves thinking about how rules work, it’s very precise, but it’s also very human and real thinking about making rules that affected people’s lives so profoundly.

    • Photo: Joel Butler

      Joel Butler answered on 21 Sep 2017:


      Sometimes I ask myself the same question. I guess when I’m really enjoying what I’m working on (which is probably most of the time to be fair), I feel like I could carry on non-stop, because I just want to keep finding out more and making sense of all the different things I’m coming across.

      I really enjoy all the other things that come with being a researcher as well – especially teaching and doing things like this. It might sound weird or big-headed, but I really enjoy the idea of sharing knowledge and hopefully inspiring other people to think about things differently or enjoy new things.

    • Photo: Pawan Kumar

      Pawan Kumar answered on 21 Sep 2017:


      I was not interested in research from day one. In fact, I joined a pharma company after my master degree as I had no passion for PhD. At the company I worked with scientist of high caliber and developed interest in research, and I’m still enjoying it.

    • Photo: Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez

      Nayeli Gonzalez-Gomez answered on 21 Sep 2017:


      I must say that I have considered different options. I have always been interested in children, so at some point, I thought about working for a charity such as Bernardo’s, I also wanted to work for UNICEF to help children in need. I have also always been interested in languages, I have tried to learn different languages myself, and I always wonder how people manage to do that. When I was doing my PhD I started working with babies studying how they learned their language and I loved it! it was the way I found to merge the two things that I have always been very interested in. So, once you find something that you are very interested in, you just need to try to find a way of doing what you love, research was my way…

    • Photo: Martin Pickup

      Martin Pickup answered on 21 Sep 2017:


      I loved trying to dig into things and get to the bottom of stuff in school, and I guess I’ve just carried on. I might still do something other than research later but interesting things have come along at the right time for me so far (I’m lucky!). It’s a great job to have!

    • Photo: Mario Collura

      Mario Collura answered on 21 Sep 2017:


      Well, I think curiosity it’s something was born with human… in principle, we have been made to be critic with respect to what’s surrounding us. I did been trying to understand what was going on all around my own world since I was child. And finally, I realised that the only fair way to grow up as a human being it was by feeding my need for knowledge: surely, this exigency belongs to all mankind; each one in a different way. My personal way has been definitively outlined once I started to study physics at school, thus I immediately understood that the more basic a question is, the more astonishing the answer will be.

    • Photo: Kanta Dihal

      Kanta Dihal answered on 21 Sep 2017:


      I couldn’t choose between teaching and research, actually. I applied for Teach First and the PhD in Oxford at the same time. At Oxford, I’m able to teach students while I do research, so that’s why I like this job so much.
      I wanted to do research because I want to spend the rest of my life being constantly challenged by tackling new, unknown, difficult subjects, and then help others understand them, too.

    • Photo: Priyanka Dhopade

      Priyanka Dhopade answered on 21 Sep 2017:


      I got interested in research when I did my Masters and had to do a small research project for the year. I found it interesting because I could use my creativity to go about solving the problem at hand, with some helpful suggestions from my supervisor. It allowed me to think in a broader way, rather than just doing what I was told.

    • Photo: Andreas Zoettl

      Andreas Zoettl answered on 21 Sep 2017:


      Because you can work more on the things you are interested in, instead of just doing what someone else wants you to do.

    • Photo: Mary-Kay Thompson

      Mary-Kay Thompson answered on 21 Sep 2017:


      I really like the hands-on environment of being in the lab and the freedom and independence you get working on scientific problems. It’s also really fun to work towards these goals with your lab group and to critique and encourage each other.

    • Photo: Sami Miaari

      Sami Miaari answered on 21 Sep 2017:


      what made me interested in research is the creativity. Through research I can chose any social phenomena or problem and the creativity to bring explanation and answers for this problem.

    • Photo: Ophélie Lebrasseur

      Ophélie Lebrasseur answered on 21 Sep 2017:


      Heya,
      I think for me, I’ve always been interested in research. I’ve been wanting to study the past and understand it from as young as 7 years old (back then, I wanted to be a palaeontologist and I was scared that all the dinosaur bones would have been discovered before I could become a palaeontologist). So researching the past just had a natural progression. I also really love understanding concepts and past events and dig into all the various lines of evidence. A bit like a detective!

    • Photo: Rohan Kapitany

      Rohan Kapitany answered on 22 Sep 2017:


      I liked manipulating people’s behavior (that sounds bad, I swear it isn’t). I first studied advertising at university and went to work in the industry for a while – but I found that it was basically pseudoscience. After a little while, I went back to study psychology. Now I use my skills for good, rather than evil.

    • Photo: Daniel Brown

      Daniel Brown answered on 22 Sep 2017:


      I think it was probably the freedom it gives me. Whilst I have my work obligations, I can take time to explore other ideas and learn about new technologies. I also like the fact I get the opportunity to teach students, something I find very rewarding.

    • Photo: Sabina Fiolna

      Sabina Fiolna answered on 25 Sep 2017:


      I think that being a researcher is a state of mind and every one of us thinks and behaves like a researcher up to a certain point. Children are particularly good in that. My 2 year old son is a fantastic example, his never ending experiments and tireless efforts to learn, study and understand the world are exremely inspiring. Some people grow up from being over-curious, some of them don’t. And this is me. I think that working as a researcher is just an extension of my character and it doesn’t end when I come home.

      However, the decision to become a researcher did not come easy (my parents wanted me to become a lawyer, ha, ha, ha!). I worked in several different places to check if I could find something for me, but the longer I was working, the better I knew that I prefer research. Doing my research gives me intellectual freedom while teaching me the rigours of logical thinking, it helps me to understand the world and shows the exceptional beauty of human mind.

    • Photo: Raquel Pinacho

      Raquel Pinacho answered on 26 Sep 2017:


      I was always full of questions. So that inquisitive mind was always in search of answers. I spent a lot of time playing with a toy microscope trying to see onion skins… I was very interested in medicine, and how to cure diseases… A little later I realised I was more interested in understanding the causes of diseases and how to cure them so I ended up doing a degree on Biology. My uni was a very exciting environment with lots of research going on and lots of very cool researchers. I think that inspired me a lot. I then spent a couple of summers as an intern in a lab, I realised I was very interested in the neurobiology of the brain, and I guess that’s how it all started! I wanted to know more about the brain so I followed up with a master in Neuroscience and so on. I also like languages so I did a master in Scientific and Technical Translation, which is my back up if I ever stop research! But even that sounds very Science related…

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