My role at the BBC currently involves commissioning and overseeing digital documentaries, but below are a selection of my written stories.
I wrote dozens of news articles during my time as a science reporter for BBC News – below are a selection of features – news articles can be read here.
Unsung technique behind key science discoveries
Science & Environment / 18 December 2013
Crystallography is a vital scientific method for understanding the properties of solid objects. It underpins many fields of study, yet remains…
Can virtual reality be used to tackle racism?
Science & Environment / 28 November 2013
It’s an uncomfortable truth but scientists say most people have an ingrained racial bias. Now a team has shown that a short stint in a virtual…
How dangerous are false widow spiders?
Science & Environment / 23 October 2013
A school has been closed because of a venomous false widow spider, and experts say they are on the increase. But how much of a threat do they…
Why does the human brain create false memories?
Science & Environment / 29 September 2013
Human memory constantly adapts and moulds itself to fit the world. Now an art project hopes to highlight just how fallible our recollections are.
China’s new phase of panda diplomacy
Science & Environment / 24 September 2013
For more than half a century, China has used its pandas to help foster relationships with other countries. These diplomatic loans are now entering…
Are ideas to cool the planet realistic?
Science & Environment / 20 September 2013
The deliberate large-scale manipulation of the Earth’s environment, called geoengineering, could be one way to cool the Earth or help reduce levels…
Particle detector-inspired art installed in London ice well
23 August 2013
An art installation designed to recreate the wonder of an underground particle detector is installed in a London ice well.
What does a stem cell burger taste like?
Science & Environment / 5 August 2013
The first lab-grown burger has now been cooked in a frying pan and tasted by two food writers. But did it live up to all its hype? The event certainly…
Creating new life – and other ways to feed the world
Science & Environment / 22 July 2013
How best to feed a growing population in a changing climate is fiercely debated with many new and emerging research fields hoping to provide a…
Mysterious Voynich manuscript has ‘genuine message’
Science & Environment / 22 June 2013
The message inside “the world’s most mysterious medieval manuscript” has eluded cryptographers, mathematicians and linguists for over a century.
Applicants wanted for a one-way ticket to Mars
Science & Environment / 17 April 2013
Want to go to Mars? Dutch organisation Mars One says it will open applications imminently. It would be a one-way trip, and the company hopes to…
What history should be in the UK citizenship test?
Magazine / 29 January 2013
A new version of the UK citizenship test, with a greater focus on history, has been announced by the Home Office. Which events should immigrants…
Alcohol dependency: When social drinking becomes a problem
Health / 15 December 2012
Alcohol-related health issues among baby boomers are on the rise. Daily drinking can start off as a social event but turn into dependency, addiction…
How the GI influx shaped Britain’s view of Americans
Magazine / 3 November 2012
It is now 70 years since GIs first landed on British soil to join their allies during WWII.
A tipping point in the fight against slavery?
Magazine / 18 October 2012
There are, shockingly, more people in slavery today than at any time in human history – but campaigners think the world is close to a tipping…
10 things readers want in a history of the world
Magazine / 24 September 2012
Andrew Marr’s History of the World is attempting to tell the story of civilisation in eight hour-long episodes. Last week he spoke of the difficulty…
Richard III: The people who want everyone to like the infamous king
Magazine / 14 September 2012
King Richard III was painted by Shakespeare as an evil, hunchbacked and brutish man who plotted and murdered his way to the crown, but a society…
In search of a baby called Derek
Magazine / 14 August 2012
Despite the trend for pre-war baby names, some seem to resist rehabilitation. Will people ever start calling their babies Derek again? Alfie,…
Google’s doodles: Who’s behind them?
Magazine / 12 August 2012
The occasional artistic “doodles” that replace the Google logo are seen by hundreds of millions of people. But who are the brains behind them?
London 2012: 20 lesser-spotted things of the Olympics so far
Magazine / 6 August 2012
The attention is always on the gold medal performances, roaring comebacks and agonising defeats at the Olympics, but what about all the little…
The rise in women seeking a perfect vagina
Health / 24 July 2012
A research charity has launched an animated film hoping it will encourage debate about the surge of women seeking “designer vaginas”. The film…
Peasants’ Revolt: The time when women took up arms
Magazine / 14 June 2012
Until now the Peasants’ Revolt of 1381 is largely believed to have been led by a mob of rebel men, but new research shows women played an important…
Can you love a fake piece of art?
Magazine / 3 June 2012
A court battle is fought over whether a painting is fake, a drawing said to be Warhol is disputed, but is there ever a case for cherishing the…\
‘Antipsychotic drugs made me want to kill myself’
Health / 6 May 2012
While antipsychotic drugs are seen as the most effective treatment of psychotic episodes, they are also recognised to have devastating side effects.
Will adverts at the Olympics increase fast food consumption?
Health / 18 April 2012
Health campaigners are calling for restrictions on fast food adverts at large sporting events, but would limiting these adverts make any difference…
‘Musical stars’ that help scientists search for new life
Science & Environment / 17 April 2012
Stars may be many light-years away but the sounds they produce can give scientists insights into their size, age and whether habitable Earth-like…
The mutant fruit flies that tell us about human disease
Science & Environment / 23 March 2012
The common fruit fly and human beings may look nothing alike but appearances can be deceiving. The two species not only share around 70% of the…
Were single mothers better off in the 19th Century?
Magazine / 5 March 2012
As far back as the 1800s, single mothers were receiving benefits. At that time, they would be paid up front and in cash, but were they better…
America and Russia: Uneasy partners in space
Science & Environment / 21 February 2012
Space exploration today benefits from collaboration between the United States and Russia. But a history of intense rivalry – in space, as elsewhere…
Were extreme suffragettes regarded as terrorists?
Magazine / 11 February 2012
A century ago, British women still did not have the vote and violent protests by the suffragettes were escalating. Were these women seen at the…