• Question: What do you think is the hardest thing in science?

    Asked by kamilo12 to David, Jonathan, Ou, Pete, Sam, Adam, Amylou, Mark L, Samantha on 24 May 2012. This question was also asked by merlingirl.
    • Photo: Pete Etchells

      Pete Etchells answered on 24 May 2012:

      That’s a really tough question! I would say that, at this moment in time, the hardest thing in science is actually encouraging more scientists to talk to members of the public about their work and why it’s important. Believe it or not, a lot of scientists really don’t like doing that – but I really think that helping other people understand why the research that you’re doing might be important to them is a fundamental part of being a scientist. If more scientists did this, I think it would help to solve LOADS of problems that we face in society – things like the economy, our healthcare system, and the way that we teach students.

      That’s also why I think I’m a Scientist is such a cool idea!

    • Photo: Amy Evans

      Amy Evans answered on 13 Jun 2012:

      I think one of the hardest things in science is accepting that a lot of (but not all of) research takes a very long time before you get to being able to treat or prevent a condition. I think you could often use the phrase of ‘thats one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’ because a lot of scientists have to work on a very tiny part of a massive problem and there can be years and years of work done to make progress towards understanding how things work before we can work to make treatments or towards prevention.

      I actually like the thought that there are lots of scientists all ‘in it together’ working together to help to solve a bigger problem but when you think about the bigger picture sometimes it does seem like there is a lot of work to do! Where I work we make sure that we celebrate when we hit milestones in our research because it makes you appreciate all the time and effort that you’ve put in to getting to that point.

      Ultimately, knowing that every small step will help to get to make a difference to people’s lives in the long run is what makes our research so worthwhile