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. 🙂
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.
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. 😉
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!