• Question: what was the first thing you did as a scientist?

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      Asked by Aoife to Ruth, John, Emma, Dilip, Andrew on 16 Nov 2015.
      • Photo: John Gleeson

        John Gleeson answered on 16 Nov 2015:

        My first day in college, in a cell biology lecture with about 120 students, I spilled a boiling hot cup of tea all over my lap, cursed out loud and everyone looked at me including the very unimpressed lecturer. That was the first thing I did as a baby scientist.

        First thing I did as a somewhat grown up scientist was work on attaching fats to sugars and trying to see if they killed harmful bacteria! 🙂

      • Photo: Dilip Rai

        Dilip Rai answered on 17 Nov 2015:

        I got inducted in the lab for health and safety issues, where following three important rules for a scientist were also being told:
        1. Plan your research experiment.
        2. Repeat the experiment in the lab at least twice, and
        3. Carry out the ‘Washing’ step at least thrice.

      • Photo: Emma Feeney

        Emma Feeney answered on 17 Nov 2015:

        In my first day of my first job after graduation, I had to spend it, (and the next three weeks) reading all of the protocols in the lab and being inducted into all of the safety procedures.

        Once that was done, and I was all inducted, I worked at monitoring the bugs in the rooms where pharmaceutical chemicals where made.

        We checked for any bacteria all around different areas o the room. We counted any particles that existed in the fill line, and we also took swabs from people’s gloves to make sure there were no harmful bacteria on them!

      • Photo: Andrew Quigley

        Andrew Quigley answered on 17 Nov 2015:

        My first day in a job after graduation was spent much the same as Emma’s (is there anything worse than reading all those protocols?). Once that was over and done with, my first analysis was to test the purity of recovered methanol. It was only supposed to take 5 minutes but took me at least half an hour! Luckily, I got much better as time went on

      • Photo: Ruth Hamill

        Ruth Hamill answered on 17 Nov 2015:

        My first experience of a research project was my final year thesis project. I was brought to the lab and my supervisor pointed at jars and jars and jars of pickled flies, ants, spiders, oh so many beetles and the odd shrew and being told, sort that out and identify all the insects please! The animals all fell into pitfall traps and we were looking at the effects of habitat type, woodland bog or pasture on species abundance and diversity. At one stage, during that project I was working in the lab listening to the radio when Blurs song Beetlebum came on. At that moment I was literally looking down the microscope at a beetles bum trying to identify it!!