Reporting on emerging technologies: The next big thing or vaporware?

Sunny Bains, ABSW Executive Board member and UCL

Sunny Bains is Principal Teaching Fellow at UCL where she teaches technical journalism, research, analysis, and communication. She is the author of Explaining the Future: How to Research, Analyze, and Report on Emerging Technologies, and Editorial Director of Engineering Inspiration As a journalist, she specializes in writing about emerging computing technologies and has just started work on a new book on neuromorphic engineering.

Reading a research paper: Why the full story probably isn’t in the press release, and how to find out what really is.

Kevin McConway, Emeritus Professor of Applied Statistics, The Open University

Kevin McConway retired in 2016 after teaching and researching in statistics for many years at the Open University. He was academic adviser to the BBC Radio Four programme ‘More or Less’ for eleven years, and has worked with journalists and press officers in many other contexts, including through the Science Media Centre where he is now a trustee and a member of the Advisory Committee. He enjoys talking about statistics in the media, particularly statistics about health or the environment, to pretty well any audience who will have him – statisticians, scientists and the general public as well as journalists.

Investigating Companies

Bill Goodwin, Investigations Editor, Computer Weekly

Writing Features: The elements of narrative journalism

Richard Fisher, Managing Editor, features (RoW)

Richard Fisher is a senior editor at the BBC in London, with more than 14 years experience in writing, editing and leadership in science and technology journalism. He is the managing editor for the features sites (RoW region) and the Editor of BBC Future, a science, health and technology features website dedicated to asking deeper questions about how our world is changing, which reaches more than 4 million readers every month ( He also oversees BBC Culture, the BBC’s international arts site, and BBC Reel, which publishes factual video stories for a global audience every day. Before that, Fisher worked as deputy news editor and a feature editor at New Scientist magazine for eight years. 

Incorporating visuals in your story: How to make emotional connections, explain tricky concepts and create a sense of place using images, animation and video

Charlotte Stoddart, filmmaker and science journalist

Charlotte has been making podcasts, documentaries and animations about science for over 10 years. For most of that time she worked for the journal Nature, where she directed and edited Nature’s first films and launched the popular Nature Video channel on YouTube. Charlotte’s filmmaking highlights include a music video about the Space Shuttles and a documentary about Leonardo da Vinci’s anatomical drawings. Before joining Nature, Charlotte completed an MSc in Science Communication at Imperial College London and studied Natural Sciences at the University of Cambridge – and squeezed in two years teaching English in Japan.


The law around company investigations: NDAs, libel, trade secrets, whistleblowing, protecting sources

Moderator: Sunny Bains, ABSW Executive Board member and UCL

Cathy James, Senior Legal Consultant and former Chief Executive of Protect, which gives support and advice to whistleblowers.

Louis Charalambous, partner at Simons Muirhead & Burton and head of the Media Content and Disputes team

Stephanie Kleyman, Director of Kleyman & Co Solicitors and a Commercial Solicitor with over 30 years experience, including Intellectual Property rights and Non-Disclosure Agreements.

Building a satisfying portfolio career


Dr Kat Arney, award-winning writer and broadcaster, founder and director of First Create The Media - a multimedia storytelling consultancy for people who do science

Chris Edwards, Freelance Technology Journalist

Andy Extance, Freelance journalist and Treasurer of the ABSW Executive Board

Dr Helen Pilcher, Science Writer, Performer and Author of 'Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction'

Moderator: Wendy Grossman, ABSW Executive Board and freelance journalist

Pitching to technology, engineering and trade publications 


Nitin Dahad, EE Times

Katia Moskvitch, Wired

Dickon Ross, Editor-in-Chief, Engineering & Technology

Clare McDonald, Business Editor, Computer Weekly

Bill Goodwin, Investigations Editor, Computer Weekly

Moderator: Aisling Irwin, Secretary of the ABSW Executive Board and freelance science journalist

What success looks like 


Eleni Courea, reporter at the Times

Aamna Mohdin, news reporter at the Guardian

Timothy Revell, Assistant News Editor, New Scientist

Matthew Warren, Reporter at Nature

Moderator: Mico Tatalovic, Chair of the ABSW Executive Board and freelance science journalist

Keynote Speaker

Professor Mark Miodownik, Professor of Materials & Society, UCL: We need to talk about stuff​​​​​​​

Mark Miodownik is the UCL Professor of Materials & Society. He received his PhD in turbine jet engine alloys from Oxford University, and has worked as a materials engineer in the USA, Ireland and the UK. For more than fifteen years he has championed materials science research that links to the arts and humanities, medicine, and society. This culminated in the establishment of the UCL Institute of Making, where he is a director and runs the research programme.  Mark is an award-winning author and regularly presents BBC TV and radio programmes on materials science and engineering. In 2014 he was elected a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. In 2018 he was awarded an MBE for services to materials science, engineering and broadcasting.

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