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Sharon Ann Holgate
Hello! I'm Sharon Ann Holgate and I'm a freelance science writer and broadcaster based in the UK.

  I have a doctorate in physics, and I write mainly about physics and technology – including medical physics and healthcare technology, and scientific careers. My articles have appeared in publications including Science, Science Careers, New Scientist, The Times Higher Education SupplementE&TPhysics World and Materials World. I have also written brochures and careers material for both the Institute of Physics and the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, as well as press releases and case studies for the Institute of Physics and an essay for the Royal Society. You can read my latest articles here.

Did you know that Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) can measure blood flow to the heart and allow doctors to see areas of the heart damaged by a heart attack, as well as being used to diagnose sports injuries and neurological conditions?

    I also enjoy writing about cars and steam locomotives, exploring links between science and performing or visual art, and writing light-hearted articles - particular favourites being features on the World's most useless inventions, and the science and history of toilet paper, which I discussed with Chris Evans on his BBC Radio2 Drivetime show!

Did you know that before toilet paper was produced in 1857, people had used everything from ostrich feathers to rags, leaves and grass to perform the task? Unbelievably it took another 90 years to really catch on!

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    My first book, a Dorling Kindersley children’s popular science book called The Way Science Works, which I co-authored with Robin Kerrod, was shortlisted for the Junior Prize in the Aventis Prizes for Science Books 2003. Following this I wrote Understanding Solid State Physics, an undergraduate textbook on the physics of solids published by Taylor & Francis in December 2009, which is currently used as a core text in universities around the world. My latest book Outside the Research Lab Volume 3: Physics in Sport was published in July 2019, and is the third in my series for IOP Publishing in conjunction with Morgan & Claypool Publishers. Outside the Research Lab - Volume 2: Physics in Vintage and Modern Transport,  was published in September 2018, while Outside the Research Lab - Volume 1: Physics in the Arts, Architecture, and Design, came out in 2017. I also contributed to the popular science books 30-Second Quantum Theory and 30-Second Energy both edited by Brian Clegg, and published by Icon Books in 2014 and Ivy Press in 2018 respectively. 
    My broadcasting tends to cover a wider range of science topics, and has included devising and presenting Jack and the Genetically Modified Beanstalk, a pantomime with a scientific twist for BBC Radio 4 in 2011. Previously I metamorphosed into an alter ego called 'MC Shaz' for a BBC World Service youth programme called The Edge! I presented two series of E=MC Shaz - short pieces in which I investigated some of the claims pop music lyrics make about science - as well as a report about environmentally friendly guitars and a feature on the science of bras.

Did you know that there are up to 50 components in some bras, and that engineering techniques can be used to measure the strains exerted by bras on women’s bodies?

     I have also written and presented a BBC Radio 4 documentary on the Indian physicist S.N.Bose - which was shortlisted for the Syngenta ABSW Science Writers' Awards 2005, appeared on a 'Boffins Special' of the Weakest Link with Anne Robinson on BBC2, been a studio guest on Midweek with Libby Purves on BBC Radio 4, presented a series of video interviews with researchers for the Myrovlytis Trust, and enjoyed many live science slots on Bill Buckley's afternoon show on BBC Southern Counties Radio. Bill and I discussed everything from time travel to sport for the lazy. 

Did you know that according to researchers just imagining doing exercise can help make our muscles stronger? So no excuses that you haven't got time to go to the gym!   

    I have given talks at various venues including the Science Museum in London, Milestones Museum in Basingstoke, and Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital. I have also performed Science and Magic shows with professional magician Tony Drewitt at the Jewish Museum in London.

    In January 2007, I was awarded the Institute of Physics Young Professional Physicist of the Year award for 2006, which I was obviously delighted about! 

Thank you for visiting this site. I hope you enjoy it.  

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