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Alina Bendt

How did your journey into Physics begin?

As long as I can remember I have been fascinated by the way things work. I was always asking for the why and how. Whether it was how the sun worked or plants grew, it all fed my unending curiosity. Later I found a particular interest in physics and maths. To me, they provided a language to explain so many different phenomena. During my undergraduate degree in Aberdeen, I realised that research was the perfect career to satisfy this curiosity. And luckily, I found a niche that I am truly fascinated with, combining my fascination for space and passion for anything directly relating to our lives on earth.

What is your favourite thing about your research area / role?

I think, secretly, I like the struggle. The moments when nothing makes sense anymore because you've questioned something too far. And then you start piecing things back together and, in that process, you find something new. It is the thrill of looking at some data with a new perspective, possibly one of the first to look at it at all, and to find new solutions for new problems. You cannot clearly see where you're going and what the end result will be, but in the end, it provides just a little more understanding of the world. And every bit of new knowledge provides us with a new perspective on the world.

Why do you think it is important to highlight women and gender minorities in science? What does it mean to you?

As a non-binary person, I didn't see any representation of myself growing up. But I saw underrepresented women forging the path for others in science. There are so many other people who do not see representation in science, and so it is incredibly important to highlight their voices and provide inspiration for others to follow this career path. Every curious mind, every new perspective, is essential to gaining more insight into how the world works.