• Question: what about your research helps you the most to answer what you get asked?

    Asked by naila to Mark, Paul, Sarah on 24 Jun 2010 in Categories: .
    • Photo: Paul Roche

      Paul Roche answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      As an astronomer, I get asked all sorts of things, ranging from what black holes are, to where did the universe come from and are there aliens out there – so I have to cover a lot of material!

      My research involves using data from telescopes, and applying maths and physics to that data so that I can figure out what is going on. So I have to use a range of skills to pull all of the information together, and then be a bit imaginative to try and visualise what is going on around the star, black hole etc.

      I can then use these same skills and my knowldege of science to help me answer questions, even if they are not about things that I am working on. Because I know about how stars work etc. I can use that knowledge to try and figure out the science behind other questions, even if they are about planets or galaxies.

      At the end of the day, you need a good knowledge of your science area, and a bit of common sense, and a good imagination – those will help you to try and come up with answers to most questions!

    • Photo: Mark Roberts

      Mark Roberts answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      Well in my research I work with a wide range of scientists and talking to them helps me answer the questions!

      Also the fact that I teach undergraduates – and teach topics that are not directly my research means I know a wider range of stuff that helps me answer your questions

      And I guess my research is because of my curiosity – so that drives me to find the answers to some of the questions that I don’t know about and that are not ‘biochemical’

    • Photo: Sarah Bardsley

      Sarah Bardsley answered on 24 Jun 2010:

      My job requires me to be a generalist. I have to know about stuff about a broad range of subjects from pollutants, technologies, sensors, climate change to fish and loads in between. Knowing about this range of issues can help me answer lots of questions – i hope!