My brother is five years older than me, and he is also a scientist. I took an interest in the things he was learning ahead of me, and was turned on by his enthusiasm for science. Good and enthusiastic science teaching at school was also very important, and parental support and interest was key.
My personality probably had an influence as well – my somewhat pedantic nature, and my interest in finding out the truth about things in all areas. I’ve always liked tinkering with things, which is valuable in practical science. And I was always frustrated at school by subjects such as English where questions did not have absolute answers, in contrast to the generally right or wrong answers of mathematics and science.
Colin Berry is a contributor to the Encyclopaedia of Entomology (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)), and the Handbook of Proteolytic Enzymes (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)). See his website.