I was trying to think of what made me decide to be a scientist, and I just drew a blank. I do not ever remember having big ambitions; just a feeling that I could contribute to solving a piece of the puzzle. I always thought that life - the big picture - was a puzzle that could be solved a piece at a time as long as there were enough people willing to try.
In my opinion that is what scientists do: they figure things out, they learn about the unknown and make them known. For me it is not about the prizes or the recognition, but the small discoveries that help advance the process. The small triumphs of finding a piece that was not there before, or removing one that was placed wrong.
Throughout the last fifteen years I have been one of the scientist working on this project. I have been contributing little pieces to different parts of the big puzzle; albeit enjoying the challenges much more than the frustrations.The actual pieces have been very diverse, but I am sure they will all fit together at some point. Maybe it will not be in my lifetime, but one day I am certain they will.