Short story — I am an editor and writer with a background in science. I enjoy words, food, dogs, and all-things-nerdy!
The long version — My career in science started as a teenager, working long, busy days in a hospital pathology laboratory on the south coast of England. At the age of 19, restless and ready for a change, I took a trip around the globe before starting 4 years of hard graft at Cardiff University, Wales. I earned an Applied Biology degree, with the added bonus of getting the Society of Biology award for Top Bioscience Student. Not only did this make my parents proud, it also gave me a career advantage, and I landed an excellent job in the pharmaceutical industry in London, UK.
Although I was predominantly employed as a scientist in the laboratory, I was also very involved in creating method documents, presentations, and papers — this is where I really began to develop an interest in writing. There is something so satisfying about presenting a piece of work that’s easily understood by your target audience. Making sense out of science became my ideology.
When the economic crisis of 2008 hit (big time), I took the opportunity to escape the UK in favour of the relative serenity of Vancouver Island, Canada, where I took my PhD in Biochemistry, with a little bit of Engineering thrown in. My research was focused on protein x-ray crystallography of antibodies involved in septic shock treatment. Again, although I enjoyed the science, and was successful in my work (see my paper in PNAS for a glimpse into my research), the part of my research that really struck a chord with me was the communication aspect — writing papers, presenting at conferences, and reading and researching other people’s work. I was dumb-founded by some of the traditional jargon-filled scientific writing so common in academia, and wanted to find better ways of communicating science to wider audiences.
So, after earning my PhD, I took it upon myself to become an editor, and I haven’t looked back. Since 2012 I have been employed as a freelance communications consultant, specializing in science. I have completed various communications courses along the way. I am a full member of the American Medical Writers Association (AMWA), the Royal Society of Biology (2015 – present), was previously an associate member of the Editors’ Association of Canada (2013 – 2015), and have completed the SFU Continuing Studies Certificate in Editing, which included the following modules:
- Advanced Study in Writing for Business and the Professions
- Document Design and Production for Editors
- Copy editing, Proofreading, and Substantive Editing
- Technical writing
- Ethics and Legal Issues in Writing and Publishing
- Grammar: A Quick Review of Common Puzzles in Today’s English
- Indexing: An Essential Art and Science
I’m happy that I’m able to combine my loves of science and writing. If you have any questions, would like me to edit or write for you, or are just interested in knowing more about me, please feel free to contact me at: KLsciencewriting@gmail.com.