• Question: What's your favourite thing about your job?

    Asked by darcyxmas18 on 23 Dec 2018.
    • Photo: Freya Harrison

      Freya Harrison answered on 23 Dec 2018: last edited 23 Dec 2018 6:45 pm

      My favourite thing about my job is that it’s all about working with other people, and talking to people. Often, people assume that scientists work alone, but that’s actually very rare. There’s a lot of team work involved in planning and doing research – especially because you need people with different specialist skills to work together. For instance, as a microbiologist I’ve worked with…

      – Chemists and pharmacologists (people who study the structure and function of molecules and how they affect bacteria)
      – Mathematicians
      – Immunologists (people who study how your body fights infection)
      – Historians (because we are trying to look for new antibiotics by seeing what plants and other natural materials people used to treat infections in the past)
      – Bioinformaticians (people who analyse the data from genomes)
      – Medical doctors

      … and many more! And we all have to communicate what we do, and the questions we have, in a way each other understands. And THEN we have to write up our work, or give talks about it, in a way that the audience can understand and hopefully get excited about. I enjoy learning new things and talking to people, so this social side of science is super for me.

    • Photo: Edward Morrison

      Edward Morrison answered on 28 Dec 2018:

      I like the freedom. In many jobs your boss or your customers tell you exactly that you have to do each day. But as a lecturer I have a lot of freedom. Yes there are some things I have to teach but even then I can choose how to teach them. And I can choose to research whatever I think is most interesting for the other part of my job. That’s quite rare in many jobs.

    • Photo: Judith Sleeman

      Judith Sleeman answered on 29 Dec 2018:

      The detective work: using the results of one set of experiments to design the next set. Particularly when a new result explains some old results that made me scratch my head when I last thought about them!

    • Photo: Gill Harrison

      Gill Harrison answered on 2 Jan 2019:

      I love the variety in my role. One of the best things is seeing students suddenly begin to understand something they’ve struggled with or watching ex-students develop their careers and become confident leaders in their field.

      In relation to the ultrasound scanning, my favourite things include being able to reassure patients that all is well with their pregnancy or finding the cause of someone’s pain, so that they can get the correct treatment.

    • Photo: Laura Nolan

      Laura Nolan answered on 18 Jan 2019:

      I mainly like having the freedom and the facilities (the lab and its equipment, or the ability to collaborate with other scientists to work together if we don’t have the specific thing we need) to be able to come up with questions about my area of science and ways to answer those questions. Like Judith said, it really is detective work in a way! It is also really creative – the output might not be the same as an artist or musician but for me the development of ideas and then working out the answer requires a lot of creative energy!