Question: What's your motivation for doing science all day?

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  1. I am motivated by my curiosity to understand how the Earth works and by the excitement shown by my students. When I conduct research, I feel that I am an adventurer on a journey of discovery, and that fuels my motivation. Now, it is important to note that as a professor, I don’t do science all day. I also have teaching, administrative, and service duties. But the most fun is when I can focus on research with my students.


  2. I am motivated to do science all day because of all the opportunities that I have been given since pursuing a career in geology and all the opportunities that are to come. I get to travel to fantastic places to do fieldwork (such as Montana, Utah, Nevada and the Himalaya). I had the opportunity to make a lasting contribution in lunar geology. And now I get to go to school in another country than where I am from (in France) which is a dream come true.

    Not to mention all of the places that I have traveled, I have worked with and am working with some fantastic people! From my 8th grade science teacher, Mr. McDonald, to my advisor Dr. Judge in undergraduate, to my advisor Dr. Neal for my Masters and my current advisors at CRPG. They (and most all other geologists I’ve met) have so much enthusiasm for geology and science and just want to instill those and other values in their students, it is infectious!

    And finally, I am motivated by all of the really technical (and expensive) equipment that I get to use, which most of the time I am afraid of breaking. But hey, that’s why I am here, to learn everything that I can. These are the main reasons why I am motivated to do science everyday, but there are also some others.


  3. Well, I like to split my targets in several little targets than I can achieve every day, and this helps me a lot with my everyday motivation. Of course I am fuelled by curiosity about my subject, and by my willing to answer specific research questions I have formulated together with my supervisor, however, this is not always enough to inject enthusiasms.
    In fact, from one single research question you can always generate 1000 of them, and your target (either a scientific article, or a thesis, or a presentation to your colleagues) can diverge very rapidly.
    That is why is important, for my everyday routine, to split my work in smaller aims I can achieve and cross out. In this way I perceive some progress that keeps me motivated.
    I think a big difficulty in being a “scientist” is that is very hard to assign a value to what you are doing, and this can easily demotivate you, especially, for example, after long time wasted on one experiment that does not work. I do not have a definitive answer or tip about this, I think it depends a lot on the specific person and circumstances. However, for me, one of the best everyday motivation is actually see maybe your teacher, or supervisor being passionate about science even after many many years and despite many difficulties: real-life examples are always the one I appreciate most!


  4. The thing that motivates me most is the fact that I’m literally finding out and doing things that no one else has tried before. Its really exciting and I like that my supervisors are really enthusiastic about all of it too. Getting to do labwork also something I really enjoy (and having a lab day planned is always good motivation when I’ve got lots of writing to do!). Its something I’ve loved ever since I was at school and every time I get to try out new techniques, even if they’re really simple, it makes me very happy.

    And of course the perks of being a researcher – like traveling to other places to present – definitely help! There’s a geochemistry conference in Japan in 2016 and I’m using that as motivation to get some really good science done by the end of my 3rd year so I can enthuse all the other scientists there! And next year I’d really like to go to Vienna for another conference, so I’m using that as motivation to work really hard this summer/autumn so I have a full dataset ready to present.

    Of course there are times when you get de-motivated, like if an experiment hasn’t worked or if you can’t use a machine for a long time or if you can’t do something you wanted to, but you just have to keep going. Often talking with other PhD students in my office helps – they’re all really nice, and sometimes just talking things through (even if they’re doing PhDs on completely different topics) helps me to formulate new ideas that I can try out instead 🙂


  5. Simply put, I just love science :). It satisfies my curiosity and can be applied to any sector both in academia and in the industry. Furthermore, it allows me to engage with people from different walks of life.