• Question: hello, my questions is about fears, you know that some people are afraid of spiders but what if you are afraid of blood? How does the fear actually create? And how does it work?

    Asked by Kitsune to Colin, Kevin, Shikha, Triona on 19 Nov 2014.
    • Photo: Kevin Motherway

      Kevin Motherway answered on 19 Nov 2014:

      Fear is a very useful thing. In cavemen days the caveman who was a complete chicken and scared of every moving shadow was more likely to hide and run and avoid getting eaten than the gung-ho hero who always ended up a tasty lunch for a sabre-toothed tiger! So fear gives an evolutionary advantage. Blood, vomit, snot they can all carry disease (just look at ebola) and so in-built fear is a good thing that will make you stay away from them and keep you safe. Being a scientist means being rational about things overcoming fears and finding out how the world works. Marie Curie said “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”…words to live by! Fear is a good warning but we’re not cavemen and the world is way safer so don’t let fear hold you back. Don’t be scared of blood, use gloves and be safe but learn how amazing and interesting it is by looking down a microscope.

      Having said all that I hate spiders too!