Judging by the ingenious individuals who have come into The Life Scientific studio in the last eight years, there is no simple answer. Mathematicians, electricians, molecular biologists and mechanics can all transform lives. Some think with their hands, others make things in their minds. Most have a vision of the future. All are driven by a passionate determination to solve problems.
These intimate accounts, based on interviews recorded for the popular BBC Radio 4 programme The Life Scientific, chart the life journeys of scientists and engineers working in Britain today from childhood interests to innovation. Explaining what they did when and why, they make science seem straightforward and exciting, revealing moments of disappointment, creativity, frustration and joy.
The result is an illuminating collection of biographical short stories that make scientists and the work they do accessible to us all.