British and Irish science journalism associations are organising a joint workshop on careers in science media at in Belfast on the 19 October 2017. 

The half-day event is organised by Queen’s University Centre for Experimental Medicine PDC, in association with Irish Science and Technology Journalism Association (ISTJA) and Association of British Science Writers (ABSW).

The entry is free to Queen’s University students and staff, and members of ISTJA and ABSW.

Location: Basement Seminar Room, The Wellcome Wolfson Institute of Experimental Medicine, Queen’s University, 97 Lisburn Road, Belfast. Please fill in this form to register for the event.


Date and time: 19 October 2017, 12:30-17:30

Draft programme is below


12:30-13:00 Arrival and registration, coffee reception and informal networking

Sesions 1 Chairs: Dr Lindsay Broadbent and Dr Alice Dubois

13:00-13:05 Welcome and overview of the day from Lindsay Broadbent, Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the CEM PDC

13:05-13:15 Introductions from representatives of ABSW and ISTJA: what these two associations do and how you can join them, with Emma Stoye (ABSW), and Cormac Sheridan (ISTJA)

13:15-14:00 Moving from research into writing and media: how and why to build a career in science journalism, panel discussion with Emma Stoye, senior reporter at Chemistry World, and freelance science journalists Claire O’Connell, Olive Heffernan, Tom Kennedy and Cormac Sheridan

14:00-14:45 How to thrive as a freelance science writer: challenges and opportunities, panel discussion with Olive Heffernan, freelance science writer and a Visiting Science Writer at Trinity College Dublin; and freelance science journalists Marie Boran, Maria Delaney, Tom Kennedy and Anthony King

14:45-15:00 Tea/coffee break and networking with professional science writers

Session 2 Chairs: Dr Amy Dumigan and Dr Joana Sa Pessoa

15:00-15:45 How new media are changing science journalism plus the latest online tools and software that science writers must know about, a talk by Sabine Louet, founder and editor of, specialist content creation solution focused on science, medicine, innovation and technology

15:45-16:30 Careers in science broadcasting, TV and radio, panel discussion with Leo Enright, former head of Radio News with the Irish national broadcaster, RTE; Marie Boran member of the Technology Voice podcast team; Maria Delaney, who worked on radio programme including at RTÉ Radio 1 and Newstalk

16:30-17:30 Communicating to a lay audience: how to avoid technical jargon and translate your science without dumbing it down, an open panel and Q&A with all of the speakers

17:30 Optional trip to the pub – free drinks provided and networking continues

Speaker biographies:

Marie Boran is a PhD researcher at the School of Communications, Dublin City University, where she also lectures on science communication in the School of Nursing. Her research explores online reader comments as a space for public deliberation on science and technology. Marie is an award-winning freelance science and technology journalist: she writes a weekly column for the Irish Times newspaper, podcasts occasionally, and is science editor at

Claire O’Connell is a scientist-turned-writer. She has a Ph.D. from University College Dublin, and during her scientific career she variously peered at plants, brains, insects and even the inner workings of mammary gland cells. She holds a Masters in Science Communication from Dublin City University. She has been contributing to The Irish Times since 2005 and writes mainly about health, science and innovation. She also contribute to Silicon Republic.

Maria Delaney is an award-winning science and health journalist. Her writing has appeared in The Sunday Times, The Irish Times,, Ars Technica, Creative Nonfiction, and more. She has radio experience with national stations including RTÉ Radio 1 and Newstalk, and was part of the team producing Inside Culture on RTÉ Radio 1 during its first season. She won ABSW Newcomer Award for Britain & Ireland in 2015.

Leo Enright is a former Head of Radio News with the Irish national broadcaster, RTE. He was the network’s Middle East Correspondent, before taking up posts as North America correspondent and later London Correspondent. Most recently, he has been the BBC’s correspondent in Ireland for more than a decade, before resigning to concentrate on personal projects in the area of public understanding of science. He had broadcast regularly on BBC radio and television and on RTE and contributed articles to national newspapers in Britain and Ireland.

Olive Heffernan is a freelance environment writer and editor. A former marine scientist, Olive was on staff at Nature for 5 years, where she launched the prestigious research journal Nature Climate Change as its first chief editor. Olive now mostly writes about climate change and oceans for outlets such as New Scientist, Nature, Nature Climate Change and Scientific American. She has also contributed to the Guardian, National Geographic News and Yale E360. She is currently a Visiting Science Writer at Trinity College Dublin in the School of Natural Sciences.

Tom Kennedy studied natural sciences and then worked as a film-production assistant and freelance photojournalist before specialising in science journalism. He was an editor of Technology Ireland, a monthly magazine published by the state agency, Enterprise Ireland, and was among the founding members of the Irish Science and Technology Journalists’ Association. He was also instrumental in establishing a long-running science writing competition for school students with the Royal Dublin Society, and he co-authored a popular book on the art and science of colour. With two other freelance science journalists, Tom established Science Spin magazine to report on science from a local perspective.

Anthony King is a freelance science journalist based in Dublin, Ireland. He covers a variety of topics in chemical and biological sciences, as well as science policy, health and innovation. His articles have appeared in Nature, Science, Cell, Chemistry World, New Scientist, the Irish Times, New York Times, EMBO Reports, Chemistry & Industry and more. Previously he worked for a publishing company as a science editor.

Sabine Louët is a freelance writer based in Dublin. She has 20 years experience as a science, medical and technology journalist and editor, including as news editor for Nature Biotechnology. Her company,, is a content creation solution, which provides clear, concise compelling content, related to science, medicine, innovation and technology.’s journalists, writers and editors can deliver any content translating complex scientific and technological information into accessible language, ready for distribution to a wide audience.

Cormac Sheridan is the president of ISTJA. He is a freelance journalist, covering biotech for over two decades with publications BioWorld Today & Nature Biotechnology. He has also been a guest lecturer on the BSc in genetics program at University College Cork (UCC). He has a BSc in microbiology from UCC and an MA in journalism from Dublin City University.

Emma Stoye is Chemistry World’s senior science correspondent, where she spends time reading, writing and talking about cutting-edge research as well as the bigger issues affecting scientists such as funding or peer review. Before becoming a chemistry journalist she studied biological sciences at the University of Oxford, focusing on plant, animal and environmental biology. After graduating she got her first real taste of science journalism working as an intern for the Naked Scientists podcast, and was instantly hooked. In the years since she has been lucky enough to interview dozens of leading scientists and write about their research.