October 28th, 2019

By Appy Bhattacharya

When I was little, I was a very curious kid and I would ask everyone a whole lot of questions. Thankfully, the adults who were around me at home as well as at daycare never attempted to stifle my seemingly insatiable curiosity.

Rather, they appreciated this quality in me, and they enjoyed having discussions about the nature of the physical world with me. These inherent qualities made me naturally drawn toward the subject of scientific inquiry. However, the reason I got into research is a bit grimmer. My dad passed when I was 4-years-old due to food poisoning-related complications, at the hands of an incompetent medical doctor in India.

I was too young to even have a complete understanding of death itself. Eventually I was able to grasp the story behind his death and his poor health. However, it didn’t seem to settle with me. For years, I kept thinking how he didn’t have to die this way. It made me wonder what we could have done to save his life. Because of how his drastic passing affected me and my family, it also paved the course of my educational career at that time. I first wanted to be a doctor myself as I was starting to think about the lack of ethics in medicine in India. Eventually, as I went through my years of education and as I learned more about how research and medicine were connected, I had a major realization around the age of 16 or 17, just before it was time to finish high school and enter college. I decided that rather than being a professional responsible for applying technology at the bedside, I would rather be much more upstream of the system of the flow of knowledge.


I became interested in research as it allowed me the ability to add to scientific knowledge and to develop technology that will hopefully help improve the quality of lives of many people around the globe. That is what has motivated me to become the researcher  I am today and also to be where I want to go in the future. I want to wake up every day and go to work thinking that my work has meaning and one day, my work will add immense value to people’s lives. I want to wake up everyday thinking that I am part of a profession that will make it so that nobody loses a loved one to life conditions or diseases when science could easily save their lives and improve their quality of life significantly. This passion is what keeps me excited about science and the research profession.


What’s your why? Let’s talk about it on Twitter @appy_bee.