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UPDATE: We are delighted to announce that EPSRC have funded our CDT for five more years under the new name EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Intelligent Integrated Imaging in Healthcare (i4health).

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13 Nov

CDT Seminar: The journey of a science news story

by Alice Hardy

Clare Elwell and Gemma Bale have recently undertaken British Science Association Media Fellowships, a scheme which throws researchers into news outlets in order to improve the relationship between scientists and the media. Clare spent her Fellowship working as a journalist for the Financial Times, while Gemma was a producer for BBC Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine Show.

In this seminar, they’ll share their (wildly different) experiences of the media and what they’ve learnt about getting science into the news. Using examples from both their time working in the media and as scientists being covered by the media, they’ll explain the journey that a press release takes – going from the research itself, all the way to an international news story.

Dr Gemma Bale is a Research Associate in the Biomedical Optics Research Laboratory at University College London. Her work focuses on developing new neuromonitoring techniques for the measurement of cerebral oxygenation and metabolism to help diagnose and treat brain injury in newborn babies. Dr Bale received the Dietrich Lubbers award from the International Society on Oxygen Transport to Tissue in 2016, and in 2015 she was awarded the UCL Provost’s Engineering Engager of the Year award for her work in communicating science to the public. Recently, Gemma has launched an award-winning public engagement platform called MetaboLight. This summer she has undertaken a British Science Association Media Fellowship at BBC Radio 2 and was invited to give the Isambard Kingdom Brunel lecture for engineering at the British Science Festival.


Prof Clare Elwell is a Professor of Medical Physics in the Department of Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering at University College London (UCL). She obtained her BSc in Physics with Medical Physics 8 from the University of Exeter, where she also completed her MPhil. She gained a PhD from UCL describing the application of near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) to measurements of brain oxygenation and blood flow in adults. She is now Director of the Near-Infrared Spectroscopy Research Group in the Biomedical Optics Research Laboratory at UCL and develops novel NIRS systems to monitor and image the human body. Her research projects include studies of autism, acute brain injury in adults, children and infants, sports performance, migraine and malaria.

She currently leads the BRIGHT (Brain Imaging for Global Health) project using NIRS to investigate the impact of malnutrition on brain development in rural Gambia – delivering the first brain images of infants in Africa.

She is President of the Society for Functional Near Infrared Spectroscopy, and of the London International Youth Science Forum. She was awarded the 2016 Women in Science and Engineering Research Award. In 2018 she won the Outstanding Contribution Award at the Provost’s UCL Engineering Engagement Awards and took up a British Science Association Media Fellowship. She is Founder and Trustee of the charity Young Scientists for Africa (YoSA).

Date: Tuesday 27 November
Location: Roberts Building, G08, Sir David Davies LT (map)
18.00 – 19.00: Seminar
19.00 – 20.00: Drinks reception


Alice Hardy
Alice Hardy

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