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Women in Science

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Video clip: Charlotte said that a career in science allows you to follow what is interesting to you in a way no other career can.

Have you got any messages for women thinking about a career in science?

If you enjoy thinking about things, and if you enjoy science, you should just try. Like give it a go. It is true, so people will say that it's difficult to get into, people will say to you that, you know - there are many ways it can trip you up. People will talk about the fact that you know, maybe women don't do as well because there aren't that many female role models. And I'd say, loads of those things are true. You know, that's true. But then I think that that's true about almost anything you might want to do. If this is something you're interested in, and you like it, actually there isn't a better job in some sense, because you get to do what you chose. So I - I chose the field I work in. So I found it, you know, by working on different things. But I found it, and I chose it. I choose the problems that I get to try and solve. I go, that's really interesting, I'm going to keep thinking about that. And nobody goes, "Oh but this one over here would be better." Nobody does. I choose. And that kind of level of freedom to just use your brain to do what you find most exciting, is incredibly rare. Because in most jobs and careers, the point is that you get to use your brain to do some exciting things but often those are defined or given boundaries by someone else. So someone says, "The bank is really interested in knowing if we change these interest rates, what would happen to customer behaviour?" Yeah, that's a very interesting problem but you didn't choose it. And if you notice something weird they would go, "No, no, no keep doing this."

And the really nice thing about working in science is the idea that when you start working on a problem, you don't know where it's going to go, because no one knows the answer. And then you see something interesting, and it might even be miles outside what you truly understand at that point in time, but if you find it interesting, you can keep looking. You can just go, "That's really interesting", and try and understand why. And there is nothing else like that. So it just doesn't exist. So it's worth going through and thinking about all the things that might go wrong along the way, and you know planning to get there, but to me it's that one thing about you choose what you do. And you get to choose what is interesting. And I think that's amazing.

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