I came to science not because of any person, incident, tv shows or movies, science article like most of the people in developed countries. It was because of two reasons: 1. I was talented among my classmates during my high school and 2. Our society had a belief that talented students must go for science to have better job/life in future. I was not an extraordinary individual. I was a normal student and just followed my communities belief.
My story is the story of thousands of students of my generation in Nepal (I guess all developing countries), where choosing a profession is driven by need rather than interest. Last week (Friday 6th, July), prestigious science magazine published my opinion as "Letters to Editor" on "a speciﬁc experience and how it changed their science, training, or career goals" along with 13 others on print version and some more with detail opinion on online version. They selected mine out of more than 100 submissions. They might have found mine as an unique opinion that brought me to science.
Whatever I wrote is the truth. I completed my SLC (school leaving certificate, the 10th grade) from a government school close to my home with first division. After what I knew was "join science stream in certificate level at TU and become either medical doctor or engineer". Joining science became reality but not the later ones.
After completing I.Sc., I joined BSc with chemistry/botany/zoology and later on majored in chemistry. During that period I developed some interest on some subjects and that was something related to society. That could be history/anthropology......But I was far from them. I didn't go after them much. Among the three subjects I had to choose as major, I was more interested in botany because I thought it kind of relates more to society. But I choose chemistry because it would give me more chance to have job in future. This is the only reason behind chemistry as my career.
Later on when I came to know more about chemistry, I realized that it is also somehow related to society. And, got more interested into this subject. Decided to spend my career in this field. I am happy to be in chemistry. no regrets at all. It may not be wise to say I will be in chemistry career forever. One's interest may change with time, environment around, socio/economic changes and lots of other factors.
My and my community's belief on taking science as career was right and is still valid not only in Nepal but also in around the globe including USA. If you have a degree (or training) on STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and medicine/nursing, it is lot easier to get highly paid job in the US.