• Question: Would you put your self at risk to reach your aim or have you?

    Asked by lauren152 to Ivan, James, Jessica, Nicola, Sarah on 12 Nov 2013.
    • Photo: Sarah Tesh

      Sarah Tesh answered on 12 Nov 2013:

      No to both. I have had some serious health issues over the past few years and it has taught me that the best way to succeed is to look after yourself first. Even when doing more hazardous experiments (like having to collect samples from caves or using radioactive materials) you have to realise your limits for your own good. It sounds boring but in the long term it’s a good thing. 🙂

    • Photo: Nicola Potts

      Nicola Potts answered on 12 Nov 2013:

      During my university degree I had to do field work for 6 weeks in the mountains of the Pyrenees (between France and Spain) and found myself climbing up some pretty scary rock faces and maybe pushing things a little too far. At the time getting the rock at the top of the mountain seemed THAT important.

      My dream is to apply to be an astronaut and go the Moon and that would be a huge risk but I would happily take it because the pay off would be huge.

      In my day to day life as a scientist I probably wouldn’t put myself in risky situations as it’s never worth my life or an injury to myself.

    • Photo: Jessica Liley

      Jessica Liley answered on 12 Nov 2013:

      Sarah and Nicci are definitely right. Putting yourself at risk if you’re working in a science lab is never worth it, even if it might mean that you reach your aim more quickly! There are too many nasty chemicals and machines around!

      Once while in the lab I didn’t put my health first and nearly had an accident, after that I made sure I always put safety before anything else – that matters much more than a bit of work. 😉

    • Photo: James King

      James King answered on 14 Nov 2013:

      Hi lauren152!

      Safety is a big thing in science. Everyone is made to take courses on being safe whether in the lab, the field or going in between the two. For that reason no one should be taking any risks when it comes to reaching their research aims.

      That being said, scientists are pushing the boundaries all the time to do the work they do and I would say I have put myself at risk to reach my career aims. This is not as dramatic as playing with lasers or blowing things up, but it does involve moving for jobs, working long hours and sacrificing some perks that can be risky for your personal health!

    • Photo: Ivan Campeotto

      Ivan Campeotto answered on 20 Nov 2013:

      Never! Safety always comes first and we always run our experiments in a way that our safety or the safety of others are never at risk.