Open for business: Going freelance

"change your life" bit of Berlin Wall outside Imperial War MuseumThis picture has very little to do with this post. It is of a bit of Berlin Wall outside the Imperial War Museum

Personal note: I left academia at the start of the year and am currently freelancing. There’s no big drama behind the change, more a growing feeling of meh.

The widening inequalities of the sector – and those inequalities it wilfully helps sustain – as well as the egos and corruption didn’t exactly help. I found the intellectual bite went out of it a while back too; it got boring. But really it’s me. I want something a bit less abstracted from the real world, and something a bit less isolating. I want to work with other people, and work on projects with a bit more obvious impact.

I’ve freelanced in science communication and policy on and off since I was an undergrad, as well as spates of full and part-time work outside of academia, so it’s not like I’m suddenly tip-toeing out of the ivory tower. But I’m still a bit stumped about what I want to do long-term. Eventually I want something less piecemeal than freelancing. One of my frustrations with the work I’ve had in academia the last few years is how ephemeral it’s been; I’m itching to get my teeth into a bigger project, and to be part of a team.

But one of the advantages of freelancing it is offers chances to diversify skills, knowledge and contacts a bit, as well as simply giving me time to wait for the right post to come up.

So, I’m open for business. Want to hire me?

Contact details are Dr Alice Bell, alicerosebell at Full CV on request, or there are some notes in my about page. I’m an adept writer, researcher and teacher. I have a PhD and have taught on several leading science communication and policy degrees. I know loads about the workings of science and engineering, with a particular interest in environmental politics, bioethics, the mass media and public participation. I am equally at home arguing with Nobel Prizewinners or Government ministers as I am running classes on climate change for teenagers or participating in workshops to unpick communications strategy. I’m a decent analyst, good listener and don’t pull punches when it comes to asking questions.

I’m especially keen to find ways to bring my expertise of the scientific and engineering establishment to groups that currently lack much knowledge/ contacts there, but helping science and engineering think outside of its bubble is always something I’m up for. So if you have a something you think I might help you with, get in touch: alicerosebell at

And if anyone has any bright ideas as to what I should be when I grow up, let me know.

6 thoughts on “Open for business: Going freelance

  1. Hannah

    Followed you on twitter for a while and was interested to read this. Your comments really resonate with the way I’m feeling about academia at the moment. Starting to feel like it’s more about prestige and ego and grant writing than findings with real-world impact.The way academia is structured seems to make researchers compete for longest-publication-list, leading to the temptation to do an easy and quick piece of research, or research with an interesting slant, instead something that’s of use to people *outside* of academia…

    Good luck on your new adventure!

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  5. geoffchambers

    “…if anyone has any bright ideas as to what I should be when I grow up…”
    Try nibbling the other side of the mushroom ;-)

    Seriously, I do like the photo. I found that one of the most moving exhibits when I visited the War Museum, a long while ago. The place raises more questions about the relations between art, science, technology and politics than a host of serious tomes.
    What did you mean about the widening inequalities of the academic sector? If you mean inequalities in quality of academic output, isn’t that an inevitable consequence of the expansion of university education?

  6. geronimo

    “but helping science and engineering think outside of its bubble is always something I’m up for.”
    Don’t you think the people who invented the telephone, aeroplanes, ipad, ipod, television, the internet, automobiles, cameras, flew to the moon, and everything you use in your life already think outside the bubble.


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