Dr Sharon Ann Holgate is a freelance science writer and broadcaster, who has worked with organisations including New Scientist, BBC Radio 4 and the World Service. She is an external academic in the Department of Physics, King’s College London, who has contributed as a guest educator on the Science Communications module for fourth year MSci and MSc students since 2019.
Sharon obtained her undergraduate physics degree (1992) and doctorate (1997) from the University of Sussex, where she was later a Visiting Fellow in Physics and Astronomy for nine years. Her doctoral research involved using thermoluminescence to study defects in crystals and glasses. Since 1998, she has worked as a freelance science writer and broadcaster, becoming a Chartered Physicist in 1999 and a Chartered Scientist in 2004.
Her media work has included writing for publications including Science, New Scientist, Physics World and The Times Higher Education Supplement, developing and writing careers material, brochures, case studies and press releases for various scientific institutions, and writing and presenting on BBC Radio 4, the BBC World Service and online. Her 2005 Radio 4 documentary about the Indian physicist S N Bose was shortlisted for the radio programme category of the Association of British Science Writers’ Awards.
Dr Holgate has also written five books, and co-authored three more including the children’s book The Way Science Works which was shortlisted for the Aventis Prizes for Science Books Junior Prize in 2003. Her undergraduate textbook Understanding Solid State Physics is now in a second edition (2021) and is used as a core text in universities around the world, and between 2017 and 2019 she devised and wrote a series of three Outside the Research Lab undergraduate physics textbooks. In 2006, Sharon Ann Holgate was the Institute of Physics Young Professional Physicist of the Year and in 2022 she was awarded the William Thomson, Lord Kelvin Medal and Prize from the Institute of Physics ‘for work in communicating science to a wide variety of audiences and for positive representations of scientists from non-traditional backgrounds’.