• Question: Is science something you would like to carry on doing in your career until you retire?

    Asked by roxannebrace to Dalya, Derek, Sarah, Tim, Tom on 19 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Derek McKay-Bukowski

      Derek McKay-Bukowski answered on 17 Jun 2011:


      I love my job. It is interesting and varied. Also, it evolves with time. The things we were researching when I started back in the 1990’s are no longer what we are doing now. Things now are new, but in 20- years time, they too will be old… but I will have moved on to new projects.

      In fact, many scientists don’t really retire.

      Did you know that Sir Bernard Lovell was born on 31 August 1913… he is now 97. However he still goes into work once a week, to listen to the latest results and to meet with the other scientists. Sir Bernard was a famous director of radio telescopes. He was in charge of Jodrell Bank for many years.

    • Photo: Dalya Soond

      Dalya Soond answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      yes. Maybe not always doing research in the lab though. I might decide to end up working for a pharmaceutical company as a manager (if they’ll have me).

    • Photo: Tim Millar

      Tim Millar answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      Yes, although the longer you do it, the higher up the orgnisation you usually have to go which tends to make you have to manage people rather than work at the bench

    • Photo: Tom Crick

      Tom Crick answered on 18 Jun 2011:

      Yes, I think so — so many new challenges and after speaking to my friends, it’s not often that you find something you actually enjoy doing!

      Hopefully I won’t retire and will be an emeritus professor working in the lab when I’m 90…

    • Photo: Sarah Thomas

      Sarah Thomas answered on 19 Jun 2011:

      yes and I want to stay in the field of cancer research for the rest of my career. Especially after meeting all those inspiring people when I was doing the Race For Life today (Sunday 19 June).

      Before the race I had to stand up on the stage in front of 8000 people because the organisers wanted to show people that work in cancer research from Edinburgh. To show them all their hard work fundraising really does pay for real cancer research being done in this country.

      I ran with race with all the other fundraiser’s and I was given a blue “I’m a scientist – thanks for sponsoring my work” t-shirt to wear so that the other runners could recognise me from being on stage.

      For the entire 10K I had people coming over to me and saying thank you for my hard work, and asking about my research and tell me how much it meant to them. Everyone wore a pink piece of paper on their backs and on them we wrote “I Race For Life For….” and you could write anything you wanted. Mine said “I Race For Life to say thank you to everyone here for supporting my work”. I read everyone’s messages as they ran in front of me: I Race For Life for my mum xxx; I Race For Life for my auntie Phoebe; I Race For Life for a cure for everyone; I Race For Life for all those loved and lost….

      As I hit the 8K mark, I was struggling to hold back the tears. I realised that cancer research means A LOT to everyone. On the last 1K of the race, people lined the street and cheered and clapped for us. As I sprinted towards the finish line, the crowd ROARED and as I finally stepped over the finish line, with blood pounding in my ears, the tears came.

      It was a really emotional day and I have never felt so inspired. Out of the 7000 people doing that run, there were only a handful of professional runners. Everybody else was just normal people like you and me, but people that are extremely passionate about fighting cancer.

      It’s given me the feeling that I will never give up.