Final 2 weeks at Guardian on Media Fellows placement

It’s been a busy and varied few weeks on my placement, as you’ll see from the links below to the various articles I worked on. I was really pleased that some of them ended up in the print version too. I’ve also enjoyed reading the comments on the articles on the online versions as some of them are really funny, particularly the idea that primitive proto-hamsters took over Mars, not something I’d considered, obviously.

I can’t believe it’s nearly all over now. I’ve got only 1 day left. But I hope to think of this as the beginning of a new side to my science life which will involve some more writing with my newly gained knowledge about this small part of the media world. Back to the lab first thing next week, the only writing I’ll be doing there is notes in the lab book  – still just as important!

Here’s my articles from the last few weeks:

Acute oak decline, a version of this also ended up in the print version.

Drugs cheats: what is oxilofrine. A version of this also ended up in the print version.

Mars Curiosity atmosphere composition. A version of this also ended up in the print version on 19th July 2013.

Heatwave affecting wildlife, after my visit to the RSPB HQ at The Lodge, Sandy, Bedfordshire. A small section of this ended up in the print version on 20th July 2013.

Guardian Science Weekly podcast, I provide an update in the news section on Curiosity results.

WWF campaign with Russian social network for endangered species.

Blog piece on Rosalind Franklin in relation to the Google Doodle.


Update on 2nd week of Guardian Media Fellow Placement

It’s been another busy week on my British Science Association Media Fellowship. I can’t believe I’m halfway through now, it’s going so quickly. I’ve spoken to lots of different scientists and specialists to get the inside story and at one point I was working on three stories almost simultaneously, which was rather taxing on the brain. However, I’m really enjoying the challenge of getting my head around so many new topics and then having to write an article in a really short timescale that’s (hopefully) interesting. This is certainly a different pace to academic writing. If only I could pump out scientific papers at this rate.

Here are my articles from this week:

Tax savings for energy-efficient homes

Pine Island Glacier calving huge iceberg

Reversing Global Warming with Carbon Capture and Storage

Earthquakes triggered by water injection

Apple using tin from Bangka mines, Indonesia

I also learnt about The Guardian’s ‘style’ this week in relation to the use of acronyms in one of my articles. For The Guardian, apparently if you can say the acronym as a word then they do not capitalise it (e.g. BECCS becomes Beccs in my article about reversing global warming (see above) but CCS remains as CCS). Here’s the rest of their extensive guide. I wouldn’t read it all at once but it’s a useful reference.

My first Guardian Science podcast

So today the new Guardian Science podcast came out. These are presented by Alok Jha of the Guardian and cover a different science topic each week, appearing online every Monday. This week’s one that I was involved in covers the Royal Society Summer Exhibition. My input comes towards the end of podcast where I got my first experience in interviewing. I think I found it harder than being interviewed myself. I was helped by the fact that my first interview was with Geraint Jones who did my Guardian placement last summer, and is a scientist based at UCL.

Click here for the Guardian science podcast link.


Busy first week at Guardian newspaper Media Fellow placement

Guardian building London - my office for the month
Guardian building London – my office for the month

Scientist one month, journalist the next. Here I am working at the very posh Guardian office in London. Don’t worry, I’ll be back to science research again next month but here’s a quick update for what I’ve been up to during my first week on placement as a British Science Association Media Fellow at the Guardian.

I had my first article published on the Guardian Environment site about radiocarbon dating of illegal ivory by and my first blog piece too about Prince Charles mending his suit and more specifically about consumerism for clothing. I also went this week to my first press conference (as a scientist or journalist) which was a real insight into what journalists look for when reporting science stories.

I spent Wednesday morning at the Royal Society Summer Exhibition with the Guardian podcast people Alok and Jason. We recorded lots of interviews for next weeks podcast so I’ll provide a link when it’s ready. Exhibition was so much fun too and I got to talk to ‘real’ scientists, only sometimes giving away my undercover status! Even got to lift up Chris Hoy’s very light Olympic gold-medal winning bike, no wonder those guys go so fast!

Me with Chris Hoy's Olympic gold medal win bike!
Me with Chris Hoy’s Olympic gold medal win bike!