Mobile version
spiked plus
About spiked
What is spiked?
Support spiked
spiked shop
Contact us
Summer school
Top issues
Arab uprisings
British politics
Child abuse panic
For Europe, Against the EU
Free speech
Jimmy Savile scandal
Parents and kids
View all issues...
special feature
The Counter-Leveson Inquiry
other sections
 Review of Books
 Monthly archive
selected authors
Duleep Allirajah
Daniel Ben-Ami
Tim Black
Jennie Bristow
Sean Collins
Dr Michael Fitzpatrick
Frank Furedi
Helene Guldberg
Patrick Hayes
Mick Hume
Rob Lyons
Brendan O’Neill
Nathalie Rothschild
James Woudhuysen
more authors...
RSS feed

abc def ghi jkl mno pqrs tuv wxyz index
Survey home
First thoughts
Final thoughts
Survey responses
RSS feed
Michael Baum
Gustav Born
K Eric Drexler
Marcus du Sautoy
Harold Kroto
Paul Lauterbur
Leon Lederman
Bernard Lovell
Sophie Petit-Zeman
Ingo Potrykus
Jack Pridham
Simon Singh
Jack Steinberger
Dr Suleiman Al-Sabah
researcher in molecular pharmacology at the University of Reading

Johnny Ball, David Bellamy and Spider-Man’s alter-ego Peter Parker – he wore a lab coat and messed around with test tubes in the comics – all had some (positive?) effect upon me, but probably weren’t responsible for my current career. Ron Hicks, my secondary school physics teacher and karate instructor, inspired me, but not to take up science as a career.

I became a scientist by accident. I started a medical degree, but ended up studying pharmacology, and found both medicine and pharmacology to be lacklustre. It was only when I ended up in Dr Dan Donnelly’s research laboratory that I discovered the enthusiasm to carry out research. And that’s the bug – doing something new, seeing something that nobody else has seen before, that ‘eureka’ moment when the picture comes into focus.

Carrying out scientific research requires hard work and discipline. Most of the time, science is a problem-solving exercise. Why isn’t this cutting-edge technology (be wary of this phrase) working? Why do my results differ from the published data? Questions like these mean that you can’t be complacent.

Sometimes the hard work doesn’t pay off, and it’s back to square one. But when the hard work pays off, then the answer is itself the reward. That’s the inspiration.