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
Steven W Squyres
Goldwin Smith Professor of Astronomy at Cornell University, principal investigator for the Mars Exploration Rover mission, and co-investigator for the Mars Express mission and for the High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment on the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter

It’s difficult for me to say what inspired me to take up science, because as long as I can remember, I’ve considered myself a scientist. I thought of myself as a scientist when I was six years old – I just wasn’t a very good one at the time.

Scientists are simply people who spend much of their time trying to figure out how the natural world works. So if I had to point to one thing that inspired me to take up science, it would be a personality trait that almost everyone shares – curiosity. I’ve always been intensely curious about why things are the way they are.

The sorts of things I’ve been most curious about are really no different from the kinds of things that set anyone wondering. What are distant planets like? Are we alone in the universe? I’ve been fortunate to be able to spend most of my life as a scientist pursuing these sorts of questions, trying to satisfy my curiosity.

Steven Squyres is author of Roving Mars: Spirit, Opportunity and the Exploration of the Red Planet (buy this book from Amazon (UK) or Amazon (USA)). See his website.