My name is Jia-Ou (think [ja-oh], two syllables), and I am a PhD candidate (and teaching assistant) at the University of Manchester. Most of the time, I can be found amongst colleagues at the Centre for History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM), but my home departments are Chinese Studies and Museology, of the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. That said, I now somehow classify as a social scientist, and train with the School of Social Sciences. All in all, this means that I am a researcher who actually has to run between buildings on campus, so if you’re lost, you know who to ask.
At the moment, I am interested in the interaction between independent adults in the UK and China, and cutting-edge research in physics, all set on the platform of a science museum. I collaborate with the Science Museum Group in the UK; Zhejiang Science and Technology Association, and Beijing University in China.
I play the violin and sing in the mezzo-soprano range.
When I was eight years-old, a project I did on Cadillac cars won the praise of “excellent use of self-deprecating humour” from the teacher.
A theory of mine is that researchers are generally the most devoted fans [of anything you like… stage, screen, print, new media], as we make it our goal to get completely bogged down in it all.
On a more factual note: I am a physics graduate of Imperial College London, a trained junior journalist (NCTJ certified), with an MSc in Science, Communication and Society from the University of Kent. My articles have been published by felix (Imperial’s student paper), East London Advertiser, Clerkenwell Source, Croydon Guardian, Kent University GradPost, British Society for the History of Science, and just maybe some place else that slips my mind right now. Not wishing to limit myself, I am, or have also been, associated with London Chinese Radio, Durham Hospital Radio, working as reporter and producer at both. I have spent one month as the office assistant at the BBC Audio & Factual Planning Unit. During my masters degree, I was part of the production team at CSRfm in Canterbury (mostly writing promos and jingle-material), and also worked at the university press office – generally telling research scientists when they were sounding a bit Frankensteiny and how to tone it down. Additionally, for a change, I did a six-month stint at Durham Citizens Advice Bureau, dealing with social policy, and now know more about benefits and work capability assessments than I know what to do with. Is this enough narcissism?
I can be reached at jiaou[dot]song[at]gmail[dot]com. Recommendations for research, new contacts, offers of friendship, resources, love-letters – it’s a free for all.
When not being quite so professional…