I started life in Somerset, southwest England, in a village where the three school years that made up one class were called the littl’uns, the middl’uns and the big’uns. In my late teens, I studied natural sciences at Cambridge University and became convinced that science really is the best way of thinking that humans have come up with. But I always felt as though I learned at least as much by wandering to unfamiliar places and into other disciplines' lectures and seminars.
These instincts first led me to journalism, where I covered science and then politics as a correspondent for The Economist and worked as a section editor at Nature. I reported from Ecuador, Bolivia, Argentina, Uruguay, Brazil, Spain, Norway, Senegal, Malawi and Greenland, and wrote ongoing columns for Nature Climate Change and The Guardian. Some old links to my journalism can be found here.
After nearly a decade of running and writing around the globe, with bouts of living in London, I found a graduate programme in Oxford that approached the social sciences in a way that my natural science-trained brain enjoyed. So I stayed for the DPhil and have found jobs that I love here ever since.