“For me scientists are people who are questioning everything, and who try to figure out why things are the way they are! It does not matter whether these are biological, physical, chemical, or whatever questions. I question everything! I want to become a scientist!“
“I really enjoy what I do. I study the causes of eruptions from the Sun, so I’m trying to find answers to questions that have important applications here on Earth.”
"Two years ago I started my PhD in the Physics department. From labs to field, I play around with the mass spectrometers in order to measure what is in the air. You know, this specific smell that you get in the forests is coming from a molecule called alpha-pinene. When emitted from the trees, this molecule gets oxidized and produces other molecules that are found to play a role in the formation of new particles in the atmosphere. We had no clue about this just 10 years ago! So after all, through physics and chemistry, it becomes all about climate! In few weeks I will leave to the Antarctica peninsula to see what triggers the formation of new particles in this very pristine region of the globe. I am quite excited for this new scientific adventure and I crave to put my feet on this continent! Wish me luck!"
"When I first arrived in Switzerland to pursue a Master's degree 11 years ago, I thought 'Just get the degree and go back to China'. Now I'm in the northern capital with my French husband and lovely daughters, and you see how life is full of surprises. That's the same as in doing science, the same as in child-caring. That's why I love them. My life is definitely not the easiest one, but less boring."
"I was interested in studying cells in general, and luckily I found a research group working on rod cells and ended up working as research assistant. I am finishing my Master's thesis and going to study medicine after that. For me science is about knowing how the world works. Though my family does not fully grasp the content of what I'm working on, they nevertheless are proud and boast about it."
“We are participating in a competition to propose a scientific solution for Personalized medicine. However, as this is still a research in progress, the limitations are quite expected. And since we are in a competition, the other contestants are not perfect either. Believe in your own vision and be open-minded. That is how we reached the final!”
"Despite my facial expression, I feel extremely lucky to have found a field of study that has taken me to magnificent places from sea level to the vicinity of the high peaks of the Himalayas. Spending several years with the topic, snow still brings the smile on my face: how it sounds under one’s shoe, its uniqueness, and its beautifying, illuminating and cleansing effect on nature. Now through studies and research I have become fascinated by the importance and the profound complexity of snow."
“There is no strict answer to what the difference is between scientific and artistic research. Both science and art work with problems, but have different goals. Definitive knowledge, which is the goal of scientific research, would be a dangerous notion in art. Art creates pluralistic objects that allow for various responses to coexist for at least some time. That is why, I think the goal of artistic research is to obtain a temporal consistency of such pluralities. The best art is always a bit uncertain, but in a beautiful way, because it opens the possibility for returning and reinterpretation but that is true for science as well. But for science, it is more robust: it is absolute truth unless it’s disproved by somebody else.” (Divnogorie, Russia)
“Luck plays a huge role! It is like a surfer trying to get the perfect wave. You need the skills, no doubt about that! But there has to be a wave and you have to be there at the right time, at the right place. Scientists don’t like luck. But it is there and I think I have been incredibly lucky.”
"I applied to a medical school, but I didn’t get in. I was accepted to a physics program and when I started it I realised that it was my thing: it’s challenging and interesting. I’ve just started my first summer job and I am a bit worried I don’t have enough knowledge yet, but I’m looking forward for more challenges!"
“I wanted to be a surfer, but one day I met this professor who inspired me to become a scientist. He was a well known guy and used to consider himself as a student, and I found that really inspirational. I wanted to become like him. I am so happy every morning, and I always say yes to everything. Because I know that whatever I do, that day I will learn something new”
"I really like the idea of continuing with research, for a while at least, but I don’t know if I’m gonna do that for the rest of my life. It feels like a really stressful job and it doesn’t feel secure enough. But what keeps me motivated is that you are actually doing something that is probably going to change the world at some point in the future even though your work might be just a small piece of a very big puzzle. What motivates me the most is that I am a part of something a lot bigger than I am. "
"I haven’t got this idea of ‘where do I see myself in 10 years’. I just know that I like science, it’s exciting and new all the time. If it is not fun, why do it?"
"I just registered for my PhD studies yesterday.”
"My family thinks that my job as a scientist is a bit odd. I agree, it’s not a conventional kind of a job. They don’t understand that success is not always associated with money. Because in most jobs, when you’re successful you make a lot of money. They also don’t understand why I spend so much time and effort in my scientific work. I think that a real scientist, kind of, has a love affair with science and research."
“For me the exciting part of science is about making connections between ideas and observations. I still remember this one experiment I did as a PhD student. I had to present my work to colleagues on the next day, and while I had an idea of what I wanted to study for my PhD, I didn’t really have any exciting results. I was scared to death that if I cannot support my ideas with evidence, I would have to work on the ideas of others. Luckily, the results of a final experiment to test my idea, that I had set up in the evening before the day of presentation were exactly as I expected. It was mind-blowing - my idea of how cell commits suicide makes sense!"
“So many of my research projects have failed. This is a pretty usual thing for a researcher I guess. But it’s important to keep on exploring different directions. My failures always taught me something new that were helpful later on.”