Study science because it will open your eyes to the world

The following blog entry was written by Children’s Medical Research Institute Director Roger Reddel. Professor Reddel established the Cancer Research Unit at CMRI in 1988. He played an integral role in building the  largest concentration of telomere research groups in Australia and hopes future generations will not only continue to support this amazing work, but become part of it as future scientists.

By far the best reason to study science is because it increases our enjoyment of the world we live in.

The more we understand, the more we appreciate what we see, hear, taste, smell and touch. And the telescopes, microscopes and other instruments of science take us beyond these sense, opening up worlds which are incredibly beautiful and awesome.

Human beings are born with a tremendous drive to explore the world and be creative. Sometimes we lose this as we are growing up, but the best artists and scientists manage to hold on to their child-like curiosity about the world.

When I was a high school student, I was equally fascinated by literature, music, and science. I found maths fairly routine and a bit boring until I finally got the concept of “elegance” in mathematical proofs. When  I was enrolling for university studies, I had a very difficult time choosing between Arts and Science and ended up choosing maths and physics at the very last minute.

I later switched again, and now that I’m a medical scientist, I continue to see big similarities in the mental processes that underpin scientific discovery and the creative arts. Almost every day, I consider myself amazingly fortunate to have a job which requires me to explore the world of human biology and discover new stuff.

I think everyone should take whatever opportunities they can to study science.

It teaches you how to evaluate evidence and make smarter choices – from small choices in everyday life, to the big choices that we are all making together which will decide the future of the plant. It’s also a great foundation for just about any area of human endeavor. An example of this is Leonardo da Vinci, whose brilliant work as an artist was underpinned and enhanced by his scientific curiosity.

And of course we need lots of students who enjoy science so much that they go on to become trained scientists with fresh ideas and the ability to seize the incredible opportunities there are to make discoveries that have a big impact on our future. In the area of medical science, we have only begun to scratch the surface of what there is to find out. I would guess this is true in many or most areas of science.

But, above all, study science because it will enhance your appreciation of our incredible world.

– Children’s Medical Research Institute Director Roger Reddel


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