Associate Professor Craig Rodger, head of the Space Physics group at the University of Otago, identifies the two main highlights that keep him enthused and passionate about his work. It is the buzz associated with discovering something new along with the opportunity to collaborate with really clever people all over the world that keeps him motivated.
The main things I get out of my work – there’s two main things. One is there’s the standard scientific thing of trying to understand something that other people don’t know – that possibility of being the first person to know something – and I know that’s not unique to me.
Johannes Kepler wrote about the joy of discovering something that had been hidden forever – and he was the first person to realise the true shape of the orbits of planets going around the Sun – and how amazing that felt to be the first. And so I do get a buzz out of that, trying to understand that. And then interacting with other really clever people all over the world to try and understand that.
And the other aspect is the ‘all over the world’ aspect. I really like working with and collaborating with people all over the world who come to visit us in New Zealand, and I go to visit them in their home countries. And I’ve been tremendously lucky – I travel so much and I’ve been all over the place doing my science.
Associate Professor Craig Rodger, University of Otago, Department of Physics