Why Science Interests Me

Response To A Twitter Question

This question came into my twitter feed today:
hey im a student at overton high school and i was wondering what got you interested in science?
My response couldn't be put into 140 characters, so I am answering her here.

Looking back, I realize that I have always been a scientist. My question to others would be along the lines of "what made you lose interest in science?" We are all born scientists, using our senses to discover the world around us and learn how it behaves. Somewhere along the way some people "turn off" to science, either thinking it is too hard or not interesting. I never went that way.
I was born the same month Sputnik was launched and the subsequent national aeronautical focus may have contributed to my scientific interests, but the nature in my immediate surroundings was always in my face, so to speak. I am an environmental scientist by college degree, but love all the scientific disciplines. Everyday, I see a "natural phenomenon" that makes me think now that is cool! This morning it was butterflies. Yesterday it was cloud watching.
Native specie Joe Pye Weed, teaming with butterflies and honeybees, Aug 2012

As a child under the age of ten, I tried to start a freshwater pearl farm of mussels in the pond, I collected snowflakes on microscope slides to look at, I tried to grow pickles by watering cucumbers with pickle juice, and I built levees and dams to hold back spring snowmelt. As a high school student, my favorite courses were literature courses - the science classes were lecture style and held no interest for me. When I went to college, I took a "Physics for Poets" class that was incredible. I also took a botany class with a gardener - he made sure we all knew he had no professorial accreditation - that was also spectacular. These courses reactivated in me the love of science that had slept through high school.

May you never lose your curiosity and wonder at the natural world.

1 comment:

Euniqua Owolo said...

Hey I'm the student who asked you the question. So far my science experience is pretty interesting. I'm taking chemstry and an invertebrates class. I asked the question because I was asked to follow a few scientist and maybe ask them to tell me why they chose science as a profession. Your response was far more detailed and exciting than any others I've gotten. It really gave me something to think about. Thank you.