Media fellowship for young scientist

10 December 2012
IET Communications team
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Media fellow Ling Ge with Professor Brian Cox

Media fellow Ling Ge with Professor Brian Cox

IET sponsors Ling Ge to fulfil placement at the Financial Times.

Every year, 10 British Science Association (BSA) Media Fellowships are awarded to scientists and engineers who want to widen their skill set and become more media-savvy.

Media fellows intern over the summer with a national press, broadcast or online journalist to gain a greater awareness and understanding of the workings of the media and produce well-informed news articles. They also get the opportunity to work in the British Science Festival’s Press Centre.

This year, IET member Dr Ling Ge was one of the successful applicants. Ling’s placement was with the Financial Times (FT), where she spent four weeks working with science editor Clive Cookson.

A research fellow at the Department of Chemistry at Imperial College London, Ling specialises in exotic materials and liquids for the next generation of batteries in the area of green technology.

She has been pursuing her own research ideas and applied for the fellowship in the hope it would help publicise her own work as well as support others.

Ling Ge said: “I was struck by the high efficiency of working at the FT. I absolutely loved the variety of topics I investigated and wrote about. Some studies I covered were close to my own fields of research, such as quantum computing, nanotechnology, environments, and software start-ups. On other occasions I reported on science policy, neuroscience, psychology, nutrition, cancer prevention, human origin, and even the American election.”

As one of the sponsors of the Media Fellowship scheme, the IET contacted Ling to offer support in several ways.

Ling continued: “Tony Whitehead [director of governance and policy] and Ben Rudd [head of communications] met with me in June at Savoy Place to give me a warm welcome, and offered a deep pool of contacts available for comment if I needed to interview experts for my articles.

“Following my placement, I have been interviewed as a green technology expert by CNN, for which I used the skills gained. I feel I can talk to the media with much greater confidence now.

“When Clive phoned in April to congratulate me on the fellowship, I said it would be a most wonderful thing if my name appeared in the FT once or twice. To my surprise, I published 18 articles during my month working there. One of my proudest moments was to see my first cover story filling a whole page of the FT Magazine.”

After completing the fellowship Ling returned to her research role more determined than ever having witnessed others passion for science and engineering. She is also been asked to continue writing for the FT as a freelancer and is looking forward to being involved in both worlds.