I am a physicist by training – I have a PhD in particle physics from Oxford University, which involved 2 years at the University of Hamburg working at the DESY particle accelerator.
After Hamburg I moved on to work for the British Antarctic Survey in Cambridge, studying ice flows in the Antarctic to understand the response of the Antarctic Ice Sheet to climate change.
About 10 years ago I left research behind to work at the interface between science and politics. My job now involves keeping Members of Parliament up to date on developments in science and technology that have a bearing on political decision making.
I also work on a number of projects in international development. I’m currently running a capacity building programme to help African parliaments develop ways of handling scientific issues, focussing mainly on the Parliament of Uganda.
As part of the programme we’ve trained people working with politicians from across Africa on how to communicate science, and most importantly how to identify reliable evidence to inform political decisions. We’ve also organised seminars, workshops and exchange schemes for MPs and scientists. There’s more information about the programme here.
RADIO AND PODCASTING
I have researched and presented two documentaries for BBC Radio 4: “Leprosy: a forgotten disease” (2006) and “Jatropha: the wonderplant” (2007/8). The leprosy programme won an award for “best scripted edited programme on a science subject” from the Association of British Science Writers in 2007. I’ve also presented a series of podcasts on science in parliament which can be heard here.
Many years ago I presented the Naked Scientists radio show in Cambridgeshire.