Contact Chemistry World

The editorial team

Adam Brownsell – Editor

Tel: +44 (0) 1223 432247
Email: Adam Brownsell

My journey to the Royal Society of Chemistry has taken me through medical, educational and professional publishing and I’m delighted that I get to take my first steps into scientific publishing with Chemistry World. It is a testament to the character of this magazine that it engages me as a reader even though I don’t share the background (or PhDs) of the rest of the team on this page. My degrees may be in literature and the modernist movement but, you know, it’s not been all bad. I spent many happy years at the Royal College of Surgeons learning about all things surgical and I hope to do the same again here for all things chemical. Science is interesting, relevant and vital, and the global scientific community is engaged and dedicated. And I get to make great magazines for them. What more could I ask for?

Philip Robinson – Deputy editor

Tel: +44 (0)1223 432428
Email: Philip Robinson

I graduated several times from the University of Edinburgh, eventually leaving with a PhD in NMR spectroscopy after spending a happy decade in and around the Joseph Black chemistry building. I’ve since worked in education, publishing and project management. Diverse roles, but all linked by communication and, of course, science – a (winding) thread that led to my interest in science writing and journalism.

At Chemistry World, my interest in spectroscopy has broadened to cover the whole ‘spectrum’ of physical chemistry. But much as I love leafing through Phys. Rev. Lett., I’m as interested in the people behind the papers as the science itself, and speaking with scientists about their work is both a pleasure and a privilege. I’m not a cheerleader for science; a good science story is a good story. However, the telling needs some skill, and at least a little knowledge, to do it well. I hope we manage that.

Patrick Walter – News editor

Tel: +44 (0)1223 432400
Email: Patrick Walter

I came to science via making mini traffic lights, measuring the speed of falling sycamore seeds and brewing fine ‘perfumes’ from whatever could be dug up from the garden. These unorthodox projects eventually led to a course studying biochemistry at Bristol to indulge my interest in science. Here I found that I had more of a flair for writing about science than actually doing it, after some spectacularly unsuccessful afternoon practicals!

After stints working on science journals, writing for society newsletters and editing and writing jobs with the magazine Chemistry & Industry I joined Chemistry World. Writing for the magazine has given me a wonderful opportunity to meet childhood heroes and some of the best scientists in the world. Telling the world about their work is not only great fun, but also matters. A scientifically literate public and body politic is vital if we expect evidence to play a greater role in policy-making.

Neil Withers – Features editor

Tel: +44 (0)1223 432107
Email: Neil Withers

I joined Chemistry World in June 2012 after spending four years as an associate editor on Nature Chemistry. This is my second stint at the Royal Society of Chemistry, having started work here in July 2004 just a week after my PhD viva! I worked in a variety of roles in my first four years at the RSC, from a technical editor on Journals of Materials Chemistry and Soft Matter to editor of Chemical Technology.

I commission and edit the features in Chemistry World, and contribute to the other areas of the magazine as need arises. I have a PhD in solid-state inorganic chemistry from the University of Durham, where I also did a four-year chemistry degree.

Phillip Broadwith – Business editor

Tel: +44 (0)1223 432446
Email: Phillip Broadwith

From the point I left school, my aim was to join the pharmaceutical industry. A gap year and summer placements in company labs, and a PhD in organic synthesis followed.

But halfway through my PhD I entered a writing competition run by the Daily Telegraph. I managed to win – somewhat to my own surprise. That changed my perspective and made me think that I should consider writing more seriously as a career. I joined the Royal Society of Chemistry just before submitting my thesis, and luckily a position with Chemistry World came up a few months later. I sometimes miss the thrills (less so the spills) of lab work, but interacting with world-leading researchers and learning new things on a daily basis more than makes up for it.

Chris Chapman – Comment editor

Tel: +44 (0)1223 432336
Email: Chris Chapman

After finishing my pharmacy degree at the University of Bradford (including a year working in community and hospital pharmacies), I decided to make the unconventional leap in to science journalism. I cut my teeth on magazines for GPs and pharmacists, before taking over campaigns on the British Medical Association’s website.

From there I headed back to pharmacy, managing all clinical content in The Pharmaceutical Journal and Clinical Pharmacist, before leaping at the chance to join the Chemistry World team. I also occasionally write a bit for the Daily Telegraph and pop up in assorted skeptical podcasts.

Benjamin Valsler – Digital editor

Tel: +44 (0)1223 432507
Email: Benjamin Valsler
Twitter: @BenValsler


While teaching science in north east Thailand, I realised just how exciting and interesting communicating science could be. Taking the opportunity to produce and present the 'English hour' on Thai local radio, it dawned on me to combine the science with the radio, and I’ve never looked back.

A zoologist by training with an MSc in science communication, I have become something of a jack of all trades.  I specialised in astronomy and materials science during my tenure with Cambridge University’s Naked Scientists, before taking on the online and multimedia editor position at Chemistry World.  Far from a disadvantage, being a generalist allows me to revel in learning new aspects of science, and has given me a real interest in the boundaries – the edge effects where one specialism meets another, where theory meets application and where science meets engineering.

Sam Tracey – Digital content producer

Tel: +44 (0)1223 432443
Email: Sam Tracey

I studied chemistry at Oxford University before seeing the light and moving to Cambridge to do a PhD. My fields of research were catalysis, electrochemistry and surface science, and during this time I learnt that I particularly enjoyed communicating chemical ideas. The next 12 years I spent teaching in schools and as a private tutor, working in diverse environments ranging from a village in Kenya to a film set in Australia. This time was also interspersed working as a self-taught web developer.

A master’s degree in science media production at Imperial College then enabled me to make the switch to my current role at Chemistry World. Here I help produce our podcasts and videos, and I now find myself on a mission to convince the world that if it can’t be said with a five second gif, it isn’t worth saying.

Jennifer Newton – Royal Society of Chemistry content editor

Tel: +44 (0)1223 432444
Email: Jennifer Newton

As the daughter of a chemistry teacher, chemistry has always been in my blood. Teaching science for 5 weeks in Ghana when I was 16 confirmed my suspicions that I didn’t also want to be a teacher.

I studied natural sciences at the University Bath, doing a little bit of everything, mainly chemistry and pharmacology but no physics. My degree included a year-long industrial placement at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, part of the Ministry of Defence – although if I told you what I did there, I’d have to kill you.

I joined the Royal Society of Chemistry in September 2008, collecting over 4 years of experience in journals publishing, before moving to Chemistry World in April of 2013. Cooking and gardening dominate when I'm not at work.

Emma Stoye – Science correspondent

Tel: +44 (0)1223 432409
Email: Emma Stoye

I grew up surrounded by scientists, and was always keen to follow in the family footsteps. But a few weeks into my degree I realised that lab work wasn’t for me, and to the amazement of my fellow students I actually enjoyed writing essays! After graduating I got my first real taste of science journalism working as an intern for the Naked Scientists, and was instantly hooked. I’ve been lucky enough to interview dozens of leading scientists and write about their research.

Before joining the Chemistry World team I spent a year at the Royal Society of Chemistry working as a graduate trainee in different departments, including membership, science and communications. My degree was actually in biological sciences, but I now feel like a chemist at heart!

Rebecca Trager – US correspondent

Tel: +1 202 772 4264
Email: Rebecca Trager

I became the US Correspondent for Chemistry World in September 2014, based out of Washington, D.C., after writing for the magazine on a freelance basis since 2007. With a background in policy, and a passion for journalism, I have found my niche covering the world of science policy since 1997. The interest was sparked after spending summers during college as a press intern for the National Institutes of Health. Before joining Chemistry World, I was the US Editor for Research Europe, covering the White House, as well as government departments and US agencies, and am also the former managing editor of The Blue Sheet, an Elsevier biomedical research and health policy publication. I studied philosophy and political theory at Haverford College in Pennsylvania.


Matt Gunther – Science correspondent

Tel: +44 (0)1223 432218
Email: Matt Gunther

During my PhD in Manchester, which focused on the UK’s nuclear waste inventory, I developed a strong passion for communicating nuclear science to the wider public. Armed only with a solitary microphone, my friends and I set up a podcast and blog tackling the top nuclear issues of the day, the Hitchhiker’s Guide to Nuclear. No topic was sacred in our quest to debunk the popular myths surrounding what is such an incredibly exciting area of science. I even decided to go one step further and dabble in scientific stand-up comedy with Bright Club Manchester.
So, a physicist, by way of materials science, walks in to Chemistry World...


The design team

Emma Sargent – Senior picture editor

Tel: +44 (0)1223 432365
Email: Emma Sargent

It’s not often you hear someone refer to themselves as both a scientist and an artist, but I think I am one of the lucky ones. If you had asked me 15 years ago what I wanted to be, I would have said a vet. That all changed when I studied chemistry at A-level and realised there was more to it than just salts, acids and alkalis. Two chemistry degrees later, I hung up my lab coat and venture into the world of publishing at the Royal Society of Chemistry.

The first few years saw me working on chemistry journals; handling submissions, sending papers for peer review, commissioning new articles and launching a new journal. In July 2011, I crossed over to the ‘dark side’ and joined the RSC design team as a picture editor; sourcing pictures, commissioning photographs and illustrations for the organisation. I’ve always enjoyed reading (and writing!) for the esteemed magazine Chemistry World, now I get to source images and help with its design on a daily basis. Scientists should never underestimate the power of imagery when it comes to communicating their interests and research – as they say, a picture paints a thousand words.

Scott Ollington – Production designer

Tel: +44 (0)1223 432662
Email: Scott Ollington

Through my 25 year design career I have had the opportunity to work for a range of companies each specialising in specific industry sectors. A diverse portfolio of design and production projects, from designing ralley car livery to branding for Greene King, this has enabled me to utilise my creative and artistic skills. 

Having worked for the Royal Society of Chemistry since 1993 alongside the editorial team, I currently produce Chemistry World and a range of other magazines such as Education in Chemistry and The Mole.

Lizzy Brown - Picture Editor

Tel: +44 (0)1223 432202
Email: Lizzy Brown

I completed my MSc in chemistry at the University of Bristol in 2013 and I started as a picture editor at the Royal Society of Chemistry in January 2014. 

When I graduated, I knew my future wasn’t in a lab, but I still felt reluctant to give up on chemistry. I never thought I would be lucky enough to get a job which combines my passion for both art and science, and which calls on my skills in both subjects on a daily basis. My job involves creating, sourcing and commissioning artwork for Chemistry World and other RSC publications, including books and marketing materials. One aspect of working on Chemistry World which I really enjoy is finding really impactful images which help to engage our readers with chemistry and enhance their understanding.

I am learning lots and gaining loads of valuable experiences at the Royal Society of Chemistry, and I look forward to many more in the future.