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Commercial writing and editing
In the years since I joined the ranks of freelance writers and editors, I have worked for a large number of companies and organisations. My main activities in this area at the moment show just how diverse this sort of work can be.
I write most of the words for Technology Matters, an internal newsletter that covers science and technology within ICI. The idea is to communicate the extent of the company's expertise in R&D to business folk within ICI who might not be familiar with science and technology. This is an internal document that spills too many beans to be let out to get into the hands of competitors.
My other current major project is as "writer in residence" with the Foresight Project on Intelligent Infrastructure Systems.
Before that I had the same role on the Cognitive Science Foresight Project. (Look out for the book of the project.) This brought together the physical sciences, especially IT researchers, and scientists working in the "brain sciences" to see where the two previously remote areas could spark ideas off one another.
My Foresight work involves working with scientists to create "user friendly" texts that their colleagues can understand but do not dismiss as dumbing down.
Some other reports
I also worked on an interesting report for the Institute of Physics on physics-based industry. The IoP asked me to assemble the narrative that goes with an account of the role that physics plays in industry in the UK. You can retrieve a copy of the report from here....
I have also worked with the Instrumentation Department to produce an account of their considerable expertise in the development of new instrumentation technologies. Without ever better scientific instruments, research stand still. But it is all too easy to overlook this Cinderella area of research. See what we made of their skills and download the report here...
In 2001, I helped to write the final version of the report of the steering group on the UK Strategy for Nanotechnology. This was a major rewrite rather than a simple edit.
The DTI has also commissioned me to write articles for the newsletter produced by its R&D programme Optical Systems for a Digital Age and to write the introduction to a directory of photonics businesses in the UK.
For several years, until they pulled the plug on the programme newsletters, I wrote, edited and produces a newsletter for the Materials Programme of the EPSRC. Here too the aim was to straddle the university/industry divide.
I have produced several reports for the EPSRC. These dealt mostly with the way in which industry and the universities work together. The approach has been to write a series of case studies. Most recently, I have been involved in the complete production cycle, working with a designer to design and print the brochures.
I have also produced a series of reports for the Foresight programme of the Office of Science and Technology. I was editorial advisor to The Royal Academy of Engineering for the report of its series of seminars "R&D for Industry".
Successful reports depend on understanding the audience, the subject and how to bring the two together. My background in selling science and technology to a paying public gives me an understanding of how to communicate to a sceptical audience, be it of scientists, politicians, industrialists or the general public.
Various organisations have commissioned me to plan, research and write reports on technical topics, including reports on environmental issues.
As an editorial consultant, clients have included:
Central Laboratory for the Research Councils, ICI, The Environment Agency, Institute of Applied Catalysis, Royal Society, Warwick Manufacturing Group, Glaxo Wellcome, Office of Science and Technology, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, Science Policy Research Unit, Department of Trade and Industry, BAA plc, Office of Science and Technology, British Nuclear Fuels, BP, Imperial College, Natural Environment Research Council, Cambridge Consultants, Risų National Laboratory (Denmark), UK Nirex and the UK Atomic Energy Authority.
Other recent work
Seminars and training sessions for scientists and managers on how to deal with the media
Various organisations have commissioned articles for in-house publications. Among others, these were included Birmingham University, the University of Sussex and the Medical Research Council. I have also written articles in 'house magazines' for such companies as BP, BICC, Wellcome and Inchcape.
Michael Kenward ©2000 Last changed 07 February 2008