I am a freelance creative producer / science communicator / festivals consultant / communication skills trainer / and researcher. Originally from Glasgow, but now based in Salford, I provide bespoke training courses for a number of diverse clients on subjects such as presenting skills; effective networking; communicating complex research to lay audiences; science communication; mindfulness; and social media. I am also an experienced facilitator and have facilitated discussion sessions for a number of clients..
I am a keen festivals enthusiast and I have a wealth of experience working with festivals across the UK and in the Middle East. I operate on a freelance capacity in various diverse roles from being a producer and creative director to project managing festivals; and acting as a production & venue manager; volunteer/staff/front of house manager; and as a festival consultant and quality controller. Tangentially, I have also acted as a security and counter-terrorism adviser for a leading arts festival and also worked as a festival security lead.
At the University of Salford, I am a scientist-turned-social scientist, where I research the social, political and cultural dimensions of science festivals within the UK. This is a shift from my PhD at the University of Warwick, where I researched the molecular and cellular causes of conditions such as Down’s syndrome and miscarriage using yeast cells as a model organism.
My unique research experience in both the sciences and social sciences has provided me with solid experience of both quantitative and qualitative research methodologies – and my Visiting Research Fellowship at the African Centre for Technology Studies in Kenya combined these for a mixed-methods approach.
My teaching expertise is diverse. Within the University of Salford, I teach on a number of life sciences modules with strong focus on helping students develop practical laboratory skills for careers as clinical biomedical scientists. I hold a Visiting Professorial Teaching Fellowship at the University of Warwick, where I teach science communication; and I previously held a Visiting Lectureship at the University of Glasgow, where I lectured on the MSc Medical Genetics programme.
I have a keen interest in science policy, having previously held a Science Policy Fellowship at the Scottish Parliament. Whilst at the Scottish Parliament, I authored reports on Climate Change (Kerr, 2012a) and the politics of genetics medicine and public health screening (Kerr, 2012b). I am the Senior Director for Operations & International Outreach at the Journal of Science Policy & Governance, having previously served as the Editor-in-Chief. In 2013, I was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Society for Arts. I am a Governor of Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust and a Justice of the Peace for England and Wales.