L y n d s a y  F l e t c h e r
Solar Physicist
Lockheed Martin Solar and Astrophysics Laboratory, Palo Alto, California

Solar physics is a group effort, and I work with a great team of people, and usually spend a good part of each day with them, or on e-mail to them, batting ideas about, or writing papers together. Every so often a nice treat comes up, like a foreign conference (though this always entails frantic late nights of preparation as well). I'm also responsible for organizing the group seminar program inviting speakers and making sure someone gets the coffee and donuts there on time. You can't do science without a good supply of coffee and donuts.

Why I'm still in the job

Often in the last few years I have thought seriously about giving up solar physics to do a job which means I can move back to be near my family and friends in Scotland. Often I think I would just like to do a nine-to-five job (if they exist these days!) I think that most scientists will tell you that they often spend part of the evenings and weekends at their desks or in their labs! But, despite the long hours and the fact that I am so far from my home, I can't think of anything I would rather do. In this job, I have the chance to learn or see something new every day and to add, albeit in a small way, to our understanding of the Sun. I enjoy the process of doing science, especially in collaboration with friends and colleagues here and around the world. I love the travel and the chance to live and work in foreign countries. So you see, doing science didn't mean that I had to give up learning languages after all!

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