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Michael Kenward OBE
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The mug shot is here for anyone who needs something to go with articles. Sorry about the quality, but it is all there is to hand. A higher resolution version lurks behind the thumbnail. 

Personal stuff Writing | Projects | Consulting | Committees

In the beginning

Before becoming a freelance writer and consultant in 1990, I spent the 1980s as editor of the weekly science magazine New Scientist. This appointment came after 10 years in various writing and editing posts on the magazine. So you could look at it as a reward for long service.

I graduated in 1966 from Sussex University with a physics degree. My first job was as a research scientist, working on nuclear fusion and using lasers to take the temperature of a very hot gas. Horrified by the prospect of messing around in a laboratory for 40 years, I took on an editing job with a contract research organisation. I joined New Scientist in 1969. My writing on the magazine focused on technology in general and on energy matters in particular, resulting in the book Potential Energy (CUP).

While with New Scientist I collected various awards. These included Science Writer of the Year, from the Association of British Science Writers, and Editor of the Year, from the British Society of Magazine Editors. During my time as Editor, the magazine also won more than its fair share of awards, including Magazine of the Year from the Periodical Publishers Association.

I escaped from New Scientist in June 1990. After more than 10 years running a large and increasingly successful business in a massive company, I wanted to return to writing. Management memos are no substitute for the real thing.

At New Scientist I tried to persuade the scientific community that research could be 'fun' as well as an important economic and intellectual activity. I now try to communicate this message to other people.

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Current writing

There is more to science than black holes and the origins of life. While these topics consume most science writers, I prefer to navigate the line between research and industry, to show that R&D is important to companies and how they employ and manage science and technology. At the same time I want to show researchers in universities that industry can bring forward scientific questions that are no less challenging than those dreamed up in academia.

I have written in recent years for Professional Engineering, The Engineer, Chemistry in Britain and Scientific Computing World. When time permits, and they have room, I also write fairly regularly for the Financial Times, the one newspaper in Britain that takes science and technology seriously, rather than seeing it as a part of the entertainment business. I also write from time to time for the IT and Telecommunications supplements of the FT

Other magazines that have given my words house room recently include FibreSystems, Wireless Europe, Real Business, Business Voice, Law in Business, The Engineer and Business 2.0 UK.

Since leaving New Scientist I have also written for Physics World, Management Today, International Management, The Times Higher Education Supplement, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian.

Until I got bored with the industry, I covered the biotechnology scene in Europe for BioWorld Today and BioWorld Financial Watch, newsletters based in Atlanta, Georgia.

While I write about most areas of research, recently I have focused on industry, its R&D and how companies manage their science and technology. This work has included articles on the environmental issues facing industry.

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Commercial Projects

This aspect of my work is now big enough to warrant Commercial work.


I am now on the Editorial Board of Ingenia, the magazine produced by The Royal Academy of Engineering. I have written, and ghosted, several articles for the magazine. Check out the "Opinion" piece on How engineers use the media to improve their communication with the general public. (Find the PDF file here.)

I was a member of the Medicine in Society Panel of the Wellcome Trust for several years. I was also a member of the Trust's panel assessing bids for matching funds for lottery projects.

I am also on the advisory panel of AlphaGalileo, the internet news agency for science journalists.

Over the years I have been 'International Representative' of the Association of British Science Writers and a member of the Science & Industry Committee (BASIC) of the British Association for the Advancement of Science, a member of the editorial committee of Science and Public Affairs, the Royal Society's 'popular' science magazine, and the 'Task Force' of the Royal Institution/British Association for the Advancement of Science.

Other committee work included time as a board member of the Association of British Editors, the Public Affairs Committee of the BAAS and the events committee of the Foundation for Science and Technology.

I was one of the first members of the Committee on the Public Understanding of Science (COPUS), a joint committee of the Royal Society, the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BAAS) and the Royal Institution. On COPUS I conned them into launching the Science Media Fellowships, a scheme that gives scientists an opportunity to spend time in the media to find out they work. I continue this work in talks and seminars on the presentation of science in the media.

In 1990 I was awarded an OBE "for services to journalism". (You figure it out.)

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Michael Kenward 2000 Last changed 07 February 2008