Rights: The University of Waikato Published 19 November 2007 Download

Here, Bart Janssen explains why science was 'the way to go' and what some of the key triggers were.


Dr. Bart Janssen (Plant & Food Research)

When I was a kid I read some books by Isaac Asimov, and in these books they always asked one of the protagonists "Why are you here? What justifies your existence? What value are you?" At that time I discovered that, for whatever reason - by virtue of good parents - just luck - I could remember easily, and I could make connections with what the teacher said, and I understood. And in the same way that some kids could run faster than me and some kids could jump higher, I could remember and think. I sat down having read those books and asked what could I do with those skills that would be worthwhile, and decided science was the way to go. My idea of science at that time was somewhat different than it is now but I've never regretted the decision. I think I can genuinely do some good.