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Successful Careers beyond the Lab

Successful Careers beyond the Lab


Sir Tom Blundell, Nalayini Thambar, Clare Jones, Lori Conlan, Stephen Isherwood, Adam Wright, Darrin M. Disley, Jackie Hunter, Jonathan Milner, Nick Scott-Ram, Ermeena Malik, Robert Stephen, Delphine Carron, Philip Webber, Richard Hayhurst, Miles Parker, Jasdeep Sandhu, David Cleevely, Julian Huppert, Tim Radford, Peter Evans, Madhumita Murgia, Vivienne Parry OBE, Chris Smith, Kat Arney, John Durant, Nicola Buckley, Ian Harvey, Stuart Parkinson, Julie Hill
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  • Date Published: June 2017
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107161054

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About the Authors
  • There is a major demand for people with scientific training in a wide range of professions based on and maintaining relations with science. However, there is a lack of good first-hand information about alternative career paths to research. From entrepreneurship, industry and the media to government, public relations, activism and teaching, this is a readable guide to science based skills, lifestyles and career paths. The ever-narrowing pyramid of opportunities within an academic career structure, or the prospect of a life in the laboratory losing its attraction, mean that many who trained in science and engineering now look for alternative careers. Thirty role models who began by studying many different disciplines give personal guidance for graduates, postgraduates and early-career scientists in the life sciences, physical sciences and engineering. This book is an entertaining resource for ideas about, and directions into, the many fields which they may not be aware of or may not have considered.

    • Readers will be engaged and encouraged, as well as informed, by the very personal, stimulating and entertaining writing of the greatly experienced and knowledgeable chapter authors from a wide range of backgrounds and experiences
    • Covers a broad range of possible careers from entrepreneurship, industry and related occupations to the public sector, government and politics through the media, journalism and science communication to teaching, activism and ethics
    • The varied life stories demonstrate the key roles that self-awareness, chance and tenacity play in the career paths of individuals, helping readers to develop knowledge of their own potential, and maximising the opportunity for serendipity and persistence
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This excellent book is directed at those for whom a conventional academic and research career is not necessarily their cup of tea. In it, you can learn how many other opportunities there are for scientists outside the usual academic route. The book is full of first-rate practical advice, emphasising the value of a self-assessment of your skills and interests, and illustrating that there is a major demand for people with training in science in many areas ranging from entrepreneurship and policy to PR and politics. Above all, do something you enjoy and believe is worthwhile, and do not consider yourself a failure because you have not continued in academic research.' Sir Walter Bodmer, Weatherall Institute of Molecular Medicine

    'The enthusiastic and positive accounts in this book provide ample evidence that there is life beyond the lab, and that it can be a good life: rewarding, fulfilling and richly varied. To take that decision to go where the grass might be greener requires careful thought and the application of your best research skills - to research your own future. This book provides one major source of information, advice and a great range of personal words of guidance to help inform your next step.' Gordon Chesterman, University of Cambridge Careers Service

    '… offers students and early career scientists the indispensable personal experience of more than thirty skilled professionals who started out as academics and ended up in the most varied array of successful professions. Reading about the many routes that a scientist can choose, from becoming an EU-level regulatory expert and lobbyist, to a company founder and multi-millionaire, this book is not only insightful but also inspirational for those eager to branch out from the confines of their science. I wish I had had the opportunity of feasting my eyes on this a quarter of a century ago as I scratched my head as to which way to turn once I left the lab.' Nathalie Moll, European Association for Bioindustries, Belgium

    'If there's one valuable message here it's 'know thyself - but don't dismiss serendipity'. While the advice of careers professionals to analyse skills and preferences is important, the personal stories show just how important it is to keep an open mind and that even the most successful career isn't really planned but relies on a willingness to grasp opportunities. For women, as a minority in the UK STEM workforce, these personal case studies offer reassurance that it's good to take risks and great careers await us all.' Averil Macdonald, OBE, University of Reading

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    Product details

    • Date Published: June 2017
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107161054
    • length: 366 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 156 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.65kg
    • contains: 4 b/w illus. 1 table
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Foreword Sir Tom Blundell
    Part I. Career Services', Recruiters' and Students' Viewpoints:
    1. What type of scientist are you? Nalayini Thambar and Clare Jones
    2. Researching my career: from science to career education Lori Conlan
    3. Career enlightenment for the twenty-first century Stephen Isherwood
    4. Doctoral graduates in policy and advocacy Adam Wright
    Part II. Industry and Related Occupations:
    5. Opportunities for entrepreneurial scientists and engineers in the post-genomic era Darrin M. Disley
    6. From monkeys to medicines and beyond - navigating careers in industry and academia Jackie Hunter
    7. Lessons from evolution on how to build a business Jonathan Milner
    8. Entrepreneurship, management, public relations and consulting Nick Scott-Ram
    9. From science to engineering and business: the converging stories of three friends Ermeena Malik
    10. From lab bench to board room: the patent attorney's tale Robert Stephen
    11. From molecular biology to GMO regulation and policy Delphine Carron
    12. Rebel with a cause? From physics to activism Philip Webber
    13. Science public relations - it needs to be in your genes Richard Hayhurst
    Part III. The Public Sector:
    14. From rock pools to Whitehall Miles Parker
    15. Science for global good - a polymath's approach Jasdeep Sandhu
    16. Skills, networks and luck David Cleevely
    17. Politics and policy Julian Huppert
    Part IV. Journalism and the Media:
    18. The wonderful world of reporting, or the marsupial mole revisited Tim Radford
    19. Reflections of a thinking pinball: the surprises, challenges and rewards of a career in radio Peter Evans
    20. From science to storytelling Madhumita Murgia
    21. Propelled by science: a life on camera Vivienne Parry OBE
    22. A career in science radio and podcasting Chris Smith and Kat Arney
    Part V. Science Communication, Teaching and Ethics:
    23. What to do when you don't know what you're doing
    or, my first twenty-five years in science communication John Durant
    24. A butterfly career in science and beyond to public engagement Nicola Buckley
    25. A lifetime's fun and interest with teaching and allied matters Ian Harvey
    26. In search of the ethical path Stuart Parkinson
    27. Environmental policy, politics and science - not always an easy ride Julie Hill
    Further sources of information.

  • Editors

    David J. Bennett, St Edmund's College, Cambridge
    David J. Bennett is a Senior Member of St Edmund's College, Cambridge, and part natural part social scientist in both academia and companies. He has long-term experience, activities and interests in the relations between science, industry, government, education, law, the public and the media, and has spent the last twenty-five years running large, international, multidisciplinary, science-based projects.

    Richard C. Jennings, University of Cambridge
    Richard C. Jennings is an Affiliated Research Scholar in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge. His research interests are focused on the responsible conduct of research and the ethical uses of science and technology. He is an active member of Scientists for Global Responsibility and has worked with BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, on a 'Framework for Assessing Ethical Issues in New Technologies'.


    Sir Tom Blundell, Nalayini Thambar, Clare Jones, Lori Conlan, Stephen Isherwood, Adam Wright, Darrin M. Disley, Jackie Hunter, Jonathan Milner, Nick Scott-Ram, Ermeena Malik, Robert Stephen, Delphine Carron, Philip Webber, Richard Hayhurst, Miles Parker, Jasdeep Sandhu, David Cleevely, Julian Huppert, Tim Radford, Peter Evans, Madhumita Murgia, Vivienne Parry OBE, Chris Smith, Kat Arney, John Durant, Nicola Buckley, Ian Harvey, Stuart Parkinson, Julie Hill

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