I am the deputy community editor at The Economist, a weekly global newspaper covering politics, business, science, arts and culture. I also think and write about society, pop culture and gender. From August 2012-15 I covered the politics of science and research (some examples here). In 2013, I founded the Rational Parliament debating society to test whether we could argue about politics better if we had relevant researchers in the room.
I use social media extensively: in a previous role I developed an editorial social media strategy; I established a community of readers around my now-closed science policy blog, Purse String Theory; and find Twitter to be the best news wire out there. I passed my MA in science journalism with a distinction and was awarded the Banks Prize for the highest mark in the postgraduate journalism school at City University, 2012.
In a former role I covered intellectual property law. I was instrumental in developing the voice and strategy of a dynamic niche law magazine and making waves among its readership. As the first on-staff reporter, I established and sustained a distinctive style.
Deputy community editor, September 2015 – present
My job is to distribute The Economist’s content through online social networks and stimulate discussion around it.
Reporter, August 2012 – August 2015
I’m covering science, research and higher education policy. This means I’m in touch with researchers, regulators, policymakers, lobbyists, university staff, trade bodies and civil servants all the time. I’ve broken news and written features and leaders.
Blogger, May 2012 – June 2012
I wrote the Talking Science to Power multimedia blog on science in politics over seven weeks, an iterative project based on online conversation with readers.
BBC (science radio unit)
Intern, December 2011
I set up items for the flagship science programme Material World, broadcast to over one million listeners per week, through research, interviews, coordinating guests and writing script segments. On The Life Scientific, I conducted research for one episode and convinced the producers to let me research and write recommendations for how to develop this new programme.
Intern, October 2011 – January 2012
I conducted an audit of the magazine’s science coverage, producing a 35-page report that evaluated content and contributors, and made recommendations on how it could be adapted and improved. At the magazine’s week-long series of comedy/science events, Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless People, I captured video and audio content with performers and scientists that received 28,000 views/listens within three weeks.
World Trademark Review
Reporter, September 2008 – September 2011
Writing an average of 4,500 words per week, I covered international developments in trademark law and the related commercial activities of companies. For the print magazine, I wrote two long features per issue and to the website and daily email newsletter I contributed news and analysis in the form of a popular blog. My strong angles and distinctive style helped to differentiate us in a competitive marketplace and attracted positive reader feedback. Duties included attending conferences, sub-editing, commissioning articles, liaising with and meeting international contacts, conducting interviews, researching trends, developing feature ideas and co-hosting an awards ceremony. Audience: senior trademark lawyers in companies and law firms.
Notes from the Underground
Associate editor, August 2009 – 2013
After writing a blog on the fringe theatre scene for this creative arts website, I was asked to establish a new section and run it. That section was called Alchemy, which covered art made from science.
Communications consultant (freelance), September 2010 – June 2012
I worked with this small tech-based service provider to build its position in the marketplace better by writing and helping to deploy an effective social media strategy, rewriting the website and contributing to the website redesign.
Assistant editor, journalist, April 2007 – September 2008
Writing features, conducting interviews and sourcing and writing news stories for a legal careers website and its weekly newsletter (20,000 subscribers), as well as producing editorial content for several print publications and providing proofing and editorial support. Audience: law students.
Rough Guides (Penguin)
Freelance proof-reader, October 2007 – September 2008
I worked on the new edition of the Rough Guide to Evolution, the Rough Guide to Beijing and Forward This Link. Duties include marking up proofs of the entire 200-page book, adhering to a strict house style with different subheads, colours, formats, symbols, typefaces and sizes – and tight deadlines.
Freelance editorial advisor: providing one-off audience input to a new Routledge publication
Rough Guides (Penguin)
April – June 2006
Marketing/editorial intern: work experience, writing for the Rough Guides website
Trent Editions Publishing
September 2005 – July 2006
Editorial intern: part time, providing market knowledge and input to editorial decisions
Platform (student magazine)
September 2003 – June 2006
News editor: writing, editing, commissioning, providing editorial direction and working with the BBC to republish Platform material on the BBC Nottingham website (including mine)
December 2015 – present
African Prisons Project (APP)
December 2007 – 2012
Trustee, fundraising and communications manager
My voluntary involvement with APP began by writing and editing copy for the website, newsletter and flyers. During my two years as trustee, I coordinated 20 UK volunteers, wrote funding applications, give public speeches, made strategic and recruitment decisions, and helped to raise over £100,000. For example, I organised the production, promotion and distribution of an album by death row inmates and coordinated an African music fundraiser with bands, food and activities, generating press at every turn.
2011 – 2012 CITY UNIVERSITY
MA Science Journalism, with distinction (78.5)
2003 – 2006 THE NOTTINGHAM TRENT UNIVERSITY
2.1 BA (HONS) English with Media and Cultural Studies (66.4)
- Winner, best newcomer award, Association of British Science Writers, 2013
- Winner, Banks Prize for the highest mark in the postgraduate journalism school, City University, 2012
- Finalist, BBC Student Journalism Innovation Award, 2012