Andrew's Open Road

ANDREW STEELE

Astrobiologist
NASA

“…Your life is a gift. No one has the right to tell you how to use that gift. And no one has the right to try and place you into a mold or into a position that they see right for you.”

INTERESTS:

Science

THEMES DISCUSSED:

Chance Confidence Hobbies & Pastimes Opportunity Perseverance Planning Societal Pressures Values

TAGS:

biology, hobby, keep doors open, life is a gift, life on mars, meteorite, NASA, options, Phd, research, society, space, stardust, taking advantage

BIOGRAPHY:

Andrew Steele, with his long, wavy hair, pushed haphazardly from his face with a thin, red headband, looks more like the guitarist for a heavy-metal band than an astrobiologist. Today, Andrew has a career that's well suited for him, but the British scientist didn't always know what he wanted professionally. Following his interest in biology, Steele pursued advanced degrees in biochemistry and microbiology. Uncertain where these degrees would lead him, he simply took the path he enjoyed. In the process, he kept doors open for possibilities. Then, in 1996, Steele heard of a 'geezer' from NASA who claimed he had found life on Mars from a bacteria-ridden meteor. Having received his Ph.D. just three weeks earlier, an excited Andrew called up NASA and promised better images of the sample. Because Andrew had previously done some high-powered imaging of bacteria, NASA sent him a piece of meteorite for him to study. After receiving his research, NASA was so impressed with his work that they invited him to join their team. "I sort of object to systems that pigeon-hole you early on into saying you must decide, now, what you need to do. That's a load of BS."

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