If you have a passion, you can achieve great things, whether you are gifted or not.
Question: What's your advice for aspiring scientists?
Steven Castellano: I feel that any student, not necessarily like a talented and gifted one, I don't really feel like there's anything particularly special about me that would make me considered talented and gifted, so I mean, I feel like any student, if they are interested in pursuing something they will be driven to follow through with it. I know in my case, like a lot of the teachers weren't necessarily recommending human subjects research, because it's kind of hassle to deal with. I mean they definitely encouraged it once you expressed interest in it, but you know, that was a slight hurdle. Also paying for software for my Enumeration Task and then you like apply for grants and you'll kind of just be driven to carry through I feel, if you're really deeply interested in what you're doing, so I feel like if you have an interest, you will be successful. I know that's probably a little bit idealistic I guess some advice I would say is start small, you don't have to start with solving the biggest problems, sometimes just re-verifying what is already known as a scientific truth can be just as interesting, to discover it for yourself. I know that was some of the most interesting things I did in my classes, it was just seeing what have been already been done and then trying to demonstrate yourself or re-verify using a slightly different analysis. So you could start small, do projects like that, and then see where your interests take you. Follow through with it and there's definitely contacts out there, I mean, if you want to learn about statistics, for example, you could get books from the library. And I feel like people start making connections after you start and express interest in it. I know some of my friends have emailed professors at universities or local universities and you could definitely get mentors to help you, then if you find that you are interested in research and you really do enjoy it, and you want to take it a step further.
Recorded on: May 8, 2009