I posted this originally on Google+ approximately 1 year ago. In the hopes of kicking some life back into this site, I thought I would re-share it here, especially since the original post was private. Enjoy.
A significant reason why I chose to become a scientist was the constant exposure I had to nature as a child. My friends and I were always playing outdoors, and my family’s idea of a vacation was car camping supplemented with too much hiking. My brother and I learnt how to find interest in anything from the stamp-sized swamp between our campsite and the next, to the tadpoles that would nip at our legs as our parents fished.
Watching a lecture today given by David Suzuki reminded me of the big picture of why I’m doing what I’m doing. For him, he experienced a disconnect between his genetics research and the way science was being used by the government around the time of the Vietnam War. Such a large disconnect, in fact, that he considered leaving science altogether. While I don’t feel such a strong divide, I did realize how easy it is to get walled up in the laboratory, forgetting much of what exists beyond. I suddenly felt so disgusted with myself for not having recently taken the time to lay outside, paddle a canoe, or fish, allowing myself to really think about the research I’m doing and why it’s important to us, the envrionment, and nature as a whole- because if it’s not important to those 3 things, I don’t believe it’s worth doing.