Scientist on Assignment

Tyler Shendruk publishes his experiences working as a scientist for the Financial Times over the summer of 2014.

19 September 2014

Good Night and Good Well-Defined Statistical Distribution of States

That's it. Today was my final day as a BSA Media Fellow at the Financial Times.

It passed quickly and relatively smoothly but took every joule of energy that I had to give.

I'm glad its done and I'd do it over again in a heart beat.

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17 September 2014

A Job by Any Other Name

Yesterday, I had the wonderful chance to accompany Clive Cookson on an interview of Dame Ann Dowling, who had only been elected President of the Royal Academy of Engineers the night before.

Dowling is a mechanical engineer, whose career has been spent studying acoustics of combustion and flight. She still has a month as head of Mechanical Engineering at Cambridge.

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16 September 2014

Some Secrets Are Just Too Good to Keep

One day while at the British Science Festival, I didn't have a clear story from the press briefings, so I spent the day attending the public talks searching for something to cover. I did eventually find an exciting story but I didn't write about it.

I'm going to be annoyingly oblique in this blog post and I'm sorry about that but you'll see the reasons become clear in a moment.

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16 September 2014

A week at the BSF

The reason why I didn't post last week was because I was covering the British Science Festival for the Financial Times.

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07 September 2014

PUNder the Many Differences

A few days ago my first news article was published. Although certainly tied to science it is most certainly a news story and not a science story.

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07 September 2014


Off to Birmingham for the British Science Festival. This is a totally novel and even foreign experience for me. I don't know that there were science festivals in Canada while I was growing up. If there were, I certainly don't remember attending any. The British seem to be great at this sort of thing.

While I am excited, I am also a bit frazzled. I'm not sure what to expect, I don't feel organized and, as a cherry on top, I'm sick.

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04 September 2014

This Just In: Cake!

I spent a portion of the day working on a press release. It's an interesting one with a scientific contribution and immediate international consequences. That's great. Except...

The press release relies on a submitted manuscript that is referenced as a footnote. In preparing to interview the scientist, I requested the manuscript so that I could do a intelligent interview. But the researchers don't want to give it to me because it's not peer-reviewed yet. Does anyone else notice an inconsistency here?

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03 September 2014

Rotten Apples

Are you a scientist who thinks the media doesn't do your field of research justice?

Do you study differences in the brain related to gender?

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02 September 2014

Down the Rabbit's Hole

Today was a day of prescribed distractions.

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30 August 2014

Let's be Honest

One week done. I've gotten to write five stories so far. Most of them should come out in tomorrow's weekend edition. They've all been nice and short with no frills --- just present the news of the science as concisely as possible. That might not be an easy task but at least it's straight forward. I've covered biology, psychology and fundamental physics. As a wonderful treat, I even got to write a brief about some non-equilibrium statistical mechanics (my field), which may be accompanied by an interactive that I helped to put together.

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