Dr Lewis MacKenzie is a biomedical physicist and multi-award winning science communicator.
Lewis specalises in optics, imaging, and spectroscopy for biological applications. He currently works at Durham University as a post-doctoral research associate in the Department of Chemistry (in the group of Dr Robert Pal), where he develops advanced microscopy techniques to measure circularly-polarized light emitted from compounds used as biosensors and imaging probes.
Previously Lewis worked as a Research Fellow in the BioNanotechnology (Millner) Group at the University of Leeds (UK), where he researched upconversion nanoparticle-based biosensors for making faster, next-generation blood tests.
Lewis originally studied Physics and Astronomy before undertaking his PhD in optical biomedical imaging at within the Imaging Concepts Group at the University of Glasgow (UK), where he developed technologies and applications for non-invasive imaging of blood oxygen levels.
Outside the lab, Lewis is a keen science communicator, and has won multiple science communication awards. He has recently published world-leading peer-reviewed solo research into how podcasts are being used to communicate science globally. This work has been featured in both Science and Nature.
I’m very pleased to say that I was interviewed about my research into science podcasts as part of a ‘Career Feature’ article by Roberta Kwok for Nature. The article features insights from several excellent science communicators, so I am humbled to be in such esteemed company!
This came hot off the back of my study on science podcasting being published Royal Society Open Science the week prior. Link/DOI: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.180932 I am really pleased to get this work published as it is my first piece of solo work and the peer-review was very thorough. I hope it’s of interest and helpful to the science communication community.
My study of science podcasts was featured in ‘Science’ magazine’s ‘news in brief’ section
I was interviewed about how my research in nanotechnology could help Batman!
Why 2 year degrees would be bad for or students and staff in research-intensive subjects
I wrote a guest blog for Errant Science Clutter, all about the challenges faced by early career researchers when applying for postdoctoral fellowships. Words are by me, cartoons are by Errant Science, and fellowship frustrations are shared by all.
Recently I gave a 15 minute talk about 'What helps or hinders science communication by early career researchers?' at Re:Con Event in Edinburgh. This post includes a video of my talk and my presentation slides.
As a biophysicist in a biochemistry lab, I'm often learning new skills. To my surprise, recently I had to learn how to grow genetically modified bacteria to produce an artificial binding protein called an 'Affimer'. This blog post details nearly a whole week in the lab as I try to make these Affimers for the first time!
How to optimise scientific figures for colour blindness with a handy example tested by using a colour blindness simulator
I love listening to podcasts and I love science. Here is a big list of science podcasts that I’m currently aware of. This list aims to be eventually comprehensive, so if you know of some of science podcasts I’ve undoubtedly missed, then please email me on L.Mackenzie1@Leeds.ac.uk or leave a comment to let me know.