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28 November 2022

Science communications expert and guest educator to King's Physics students wins prestigious award

Visiting academic, Dr Sharon Ann Holgate, has been awarded a prestigious Institute of Physics prize.

Dr Sharon Ann Holgate and medal

Dr Sharon Ann Holgate, a guest teacher to Physics students at King’s, has been awarded a prestigious Institute of Physics prize. Dr Holgate received the 2022 Institute of Physics William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal and Prize for her work communicating science to a wide variety of audiences and for positive representations of scientists from non-traditional backgrounds.

The William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal and Prize is awarded annually to recognise a physicist’s outstanding commitment to public engagement in physics. Previous recipients have included Professor Brian Cox, Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock, Professor Jim Al-Khalili and Dr Helen Czerski.

A freelance science writer and broadcaster, who has worked with organisations including New Scientist, BBC Radio 4 and the World Service, Dr Sharon Ann Holgate has been teaching on the Scientific Communications module for students in the Department of Physics since 2019.

She said:

“I really enjoy advising and supporting the physics students at King’s. Whether it involves describing research to supervisors and colleagues, teaching, writing for scientific publications or taking part in outreach activities for the general public, communicating science is an integral part of every scientific career.

“I am delighted that I can pass on insights and tips from my 24 years of science communications and media work. I hope the expertise I share makes the communications aspect of their future working lives a bit easier and more enjoyable.”

Professor Mark Green, Director of Education in the Department of Physics, said:

“Sharon, as an established science writer is an excellent and popular addition to the teaching team for the science communications module in the Department of Physics.

“Her explanations of what it takes to be a successful and effective communicator comes from years of insight, obtained from presenting on video and radio as well as writing several successful and well received books, not to mention appearing on the Weakest Link in a 'Boffins special’. Her easy and clear manner make her a firm favourite of the undergraduates.”

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