I love it. I really do.
I just had a massive meeting with my whole supervisory team (which is quite a lot of people!) which I was terrified about beforehand. I was shaking like a leaf! But it wasn't a meeting with scary supervisors; it was a meeting with fellow scientists, who are all as excited about my project as I am! They just happen to be my supervisors/lab manager. (I do this every time! I get really scared until they remind me that we're all really happy enthusiastic scientists, and they're all lovely people!)
This is my favourite thing about science, and scientists. I said the other day on Twitter that the best feeling is finding out something you didn't know, and I think this is something most scientists share (and non scientists too!).
See the post and associated conversation here!
It's something that really brings us together, too. We all have our own specialisations; I'm mainly a microbiologist, others may be biochemists, physicists, whatever. But we all get excited when our experiments work, or we read about some exciting new discovery or method, and we all get excited for each others' successes too. For me, certainly, this is what drives my interest in my area. I am constantly inspired by amazing successes of incredible scientists.
In the same way that I'm scared of my supervisors until they're actually in the room with me, though, I think I need to remember that these great scientists in the world (and in my supervisory team, my office, my lab) are still people too; they aren't a scary science person, they're a person whose job is being a scientist. And you know what? So am I. I'm a person who loves what he does. I love lab time, I love finding out new things, and I love being a scientist. So if there's already big similarities between myself and those 'scary' people who achieve fantastic things, doing fantastic things myself feels so much more attainable!
I don't just want to find out cool stuff, I want to use it to make a positive difference in the world. Every day, every experiment, every bacteria isolated and tested, I'm chipping away at that. I'm starting to be able to see the path towards it, and it's a fantastic feeling.
I am so motivated right now! Ciara calls this 'the hum', when everything clicks into place and you get so much work done and feel great about it all. I'm going to go get in the lab before the hum goes away!