• Question: what are the advantages and disadvantages about your job as a scientist?

    Asked by Jodie to Connor, Jillian, Lidunka, Sarah, Steven on 17 Jun 2015.
    • Photo: Sarah Beasley

      Sarah Beasley answered on 17 Jun 2015:

      I think some advantages are always learning new things, and always feeling excited at the prospect of solving some mysteries! Also feeling like what you’re doing can make a real difference to people’s lives… in a positive way.

      Disadvantages are a lot of work depends on people being interested enough to give you the money to do it. Also some people think we should be curing people with issues right now rather than funding things like space travel, which may be more out of curiosity and eagerness to understand the world around us rather than curing people of cancer right now.

    • Photo: Lidunka Vocadlo

      Lidunka Vocadlo answered on 17 Jun 2015:

      @Jodie The disadvantages are, certainly in my case, taking a long time to understand something. It can be incredibly frustrating. And is the only reason I have ever thought of quitting. The advantages, however, are huge. You are always learning new things, it can be very exciting, very funny, no day is ever the same, and, best of all, by the time you get to my stage, complete freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want – which is great if you are trying to bring up a family at the same time.

    • Photo: Steven Thomson

      Steven Thomson answered on 19 Jun 2015:

      The advantages are that I get to work at the cutting-edge of knowledge, trying to ask and answer questions no one else has ever figured out before. It’s like being a detective, except instead of solving crimes you’re trying to solve the puzzle of why the universe exists and how it works.

      The biggest disadvantage for me is that it’s not a 9am-5pm kind of job – the freedom to choose our own hours is good, but I often end up working extra hours on evenings and weekends if I get really into a calculation. It’s the kind of job that’s so interesting, it can take over your whole life if you let it.