Science & Psychology

Friday Five: Dr Tim Gregory, planetary geologist


This week, cosmochemistry researcher and meteorite scientist Dr Tim Gregory answers our #FridayFive questions:


Tell us a bit about your job?

I am a cosmochemistry postdoctoral researcher at Bristol University and the British Geological Survey, where I am researching the formation of the Solar System using meteorites. I love it. I also do a spot of radio and TV presenting, and lots of public talks.

What are the key ingredients for success?

If I had to sum up my work ethic in one nifty tweet it would be this: identify exactly what it is you’re aiming at, and then shoulder the burden. Also, making your bed first thing on a morning sets the tone of the rest of the day (it may sound trite but it’s true).

Describe a normal day?

A normal day… up at 05:00; write for an hour; cycle to the lab; science (coffee) science (coffee) science; cycle home; write for a couple of hours; bed. I’m at a stage in my life now where I have the good fortune of being able to totally focus on a very small number of projects, so I’m taking advantage of it.

For those trying to break into the industry, could you explain how you got to where you are today?

I think to break into any hard-to-reach industry you need ‘good fortune’, which is a combination of luck and a tonne of hard work. It takes years to hone your skills — whether it’s speaking or presenting or writing — so keep at it, and lower your expectations to begin with.

What are you reading, watching and listening to right now?

Music is one of my great loves in life. Right now, I am probably listening to either The Smiths or the Arctic Monkeys. Or if I’m writing, I’m probably over on the worldhaspostrock YouTube channel getting lost in the melancholy of instrumental post-rock — It’s perfect for long writing sessions. (I’m also a keen guitarist so I may well be playing along!).

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