We start off our new series of interviews with real scientists by catching up with Andrew Hamilton, a researcher at Glasgow University.
What was the highlight of your scientific career?
Discovering something important (called “siRNA”) that no-one had ever seen before. Ever.
What was your worst moment in science?
“Discovering” something else I thought that no-one had ever seen before but in fact had been..nightmare!
Have you always been a scientist or did you jump careers?
Always. And I do know that seems a bit sad.
What attracted you to science as a possible career in the first instance?
Never thought of it as a career..it’s more of an insanely obsessive hobby..just endlessly interesting.
Where & what did you study?
Glasgow (microbes), Nottingham (plants), Norwich (plants and their viruses), Glasgow (animal cells)
Which Scientist do you most admire (alive/dead)
My two former “bosses” Prof Don Grierson and Prof David Baulcombe
Which scientific discovery would you rate as the single most important game changer for humankind?
The contraceptive pill for women
What in your view is the upcoming science blockbuster invention/discovery?
Definitely the new genome editing tools
Where do you work at the moment?:
How would you describe your area of expertise?
Molecular cell biology
What scientific skill do you think would help you most if you were stranded on a desert island?
None. It’s going to end badly.
Based on your experience, would you recommend science as a career path
Only for a few strange people.
If you couldn't be a scientist, what would you be instead?