Technology and science writer
Career & Education - selected: - Freelance writer - Author - Smoke & Mirrors - Co-founder, Science: Disrupt - Co-host, Radical Science podcast - Expert Advisor, European Commission - Innovate UK Assessor - Global Shaper, World Economic Forum - Advisor, SXSW - Advisor, International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences - PhD researcher, UCL - Previously, Tech Innovation Strategist, Ogilvy Labs - Previously, Investment Banker, J.P. Morgan - Previously, Charity saleswoman, The Children’s Trust & Practical Action - Previously, Science teacher, Shell - Bachelor in Maths, University of St Andrews
WHAT DO YOU DO?
I write for places such as Forbes, BBC, The Guardian, CNBC etc; I speak at international conferences such as SXSW, TEDx, Cannes Lions etc; I have just started writing a book about hype and idealism in science and tech - should be published in 2020; I consult with Innovate UK and the European Commission on startup investment - particularly in biotech; I also am co-founder of Science: Disrupt - a podcast and events organisation all about connecting the innovators, iconoclasts and entrepreneurs creating change in science.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE THIS FIELD?
Science has always been my first love. My Grandad and my Dad are both stonemasons and they instilled in me a real love of maths - I studied maths at St Andrews University. My Mum studied human biology at university and although I didn't love it when I was in school, a lot of what I write about now is life sciences related.
I went to Space School when I was 17 - a group of 26 Scottish students were selected, and we went to NASA Houston for 10 days. For me, that really opened my mind to the possibility of having a career in this space. After university, I actually ended up in Investment Banking and then Advertising (I also have a love for business and for art).
Don't ever let anyone tell you what you're interested in isn't interesting. You know it is and that is enough.
WHAT DO YOU LOOK AT & THINK, "I WISH YOUNGER ME WOULD HAVE KNOWN THIS WAS POSSIBLE?"
Probably the amount I travel with work - I grew up in a small town in Scotland and I never really had ambitions to travel - mainly because I didn't really know it was an option. I'm not sure I really wish younger me knew any differently though - I am so happy with the choices I've made / fell into throughout my life - as it's the only reason I'm here right now doing what I'm doing!
WHY DO YOU LOVE WORKING IN STEM?
Who doesn't want a job that literally means feeling a sense of wonder every single day. I wake up looking forward to learning new incredible things, and having the privilege of telling the world about them.
BEST ADVICE FOR NEXT GENERATION?
Don't listen to anyone who says it's lame / it makes you boy-ish / it isn't for you. I was so lucky that my parents and teachers never let me believe that narrative, but I know many people who succumbed to those falsities and stopped being interested at a young age. Don't ever let anyone tell you what you're interested in isn't interesting. You know it is and that is enough.
INSPO / FUN FACT
Watch TED talks - I started watching them in high school and I was totally inspired. You can literally hear about ANYthing, at any point. Keep your mind open to all options.