Edmund Henley photo

Profile

A space physicist and science writer, I'm passionate about science and its communication.

This page describes my PhD research and long-term involvement in student journalism. In particular, I was the science editor for Felix, Imperial College London's student newspaper, for 1½ years (2007-08, Portfolio), and was part of the Felix team which won the Guardian student newspaper of the year award in 2008.

Journalism

I’ve been involved in student journalism for many years, starting at school (yearbook and newspaper) and continuing at university. During my second undergraduate year (2002-03) I created an international page for Felix, Imperial’s student newspaper, which I regularly ran and edited.

Returning for my PhD, I copy-edited Felix for a few months, before becoming the science editor for 1½ years (2007-08). During that time, I ran regular pages, both writing articles and editing others I’d solicited from contributors. I also arranged layout, chose pictures and wrote titles and captions.

A typical week started on a Thursday or Friday, and saw me reading through many press releases from sources such as PNAS, AlphaGalileo, Science and Nature. I included any stories I thought newsworthy in a weekly digest, writing a brief summary of each story, and assigning preliminary titles. Examples of these digests can be found here, here and here. I then sent this digest out to my circle of contributors (who largely came from Imperial's Masters course in science communication) by the weekend, subsequently assigning stories to those interested. Monday saw me requesting the necessary space from the editor and editing any submissions sent in before the Wednesday deadline, when I completed any editing, wrote my own article if space allowed, arranged the layout, chose pictures and wrote titles and captions.

The late-night shifts and attention to detail and deadlines this required were rewarded when Felix became the Guardian student newspaper of 2008, an award due to all the Felix team, but especially our editor Tom Roberts, 2008’s journalist of the year.

Science communication

During my PhD I won 1 of 5 ESA grants to attend a Cluster workshop in Tenerife (Mar 2008), and first prize in a poster competition for Imperial research students (Jul 08).

I’ve presented my research at various meetings and workshops in 2007-09 (AGU, ISSI, MIST) and also as part of an early-career researcher competition held in the House of Commons (SET for Britain, Mar 10).

Outreach

I’ve also participated in several outreach events, giving talks on shocks to the Northampton Natural History Society (Oct 2008), space physics to Horris Hill school (May 09) and running space outreach activities for school children visiting Imperial (Apr 09).

Skills

Other languages: Fluent French (IB A2), strong Spanish (IGCSE, 7 months in South America, 2001), good basic Mandarin (HSK level 3).

Programs: Office suite, InDesign, Gimp, Photoshop, Quark Express, Matlab, Origin, C++.

Bow shock illustration

Bowshock system illustration