Hi, I’m Jon.
Welcome to my little corner of the internet.
I’m the communications lead for the newly-created Genomic Surveillance Unit at the Wellcome Sanger Institute, just outside Cambridge in the UK. It’s a job that has me commissioning, writing, and editing all sorts of content about genomics, public health, and infectious diseases for audiences around the world. It also keeps me pretty busy, so I haven’t been writing any new blog posts for this website for a little while. Think of this site as part portfolio, part CV.
I used to lead a team of content producers at ScienceUpFirst, an online campaign combatting COVID-19 misinformation. Before the pandemic, I was a Communications Officer at CIFAR, where I worked on the website, newsletter, and on social media. In late 2020, I led on content for a total website refresh. In nearly 3 years at CIFAR, I wrote dozens of articles and posts, including interviews with up-and-coming researchers, an obituary for a leading quantum physicist, and the announcement of major funding for AI researchers in Canada.
Before that, I worked in London, England for two and a half years (at the Royal Institution and the Science Museum). Before that, I studied in Edinburgh, Scotland (MSc. Science Communication) and in Hamilton, Ontario (Bachelor of Arts & Science). Check out my LinkedIn profile for a full run-down of my experience.
I started this blog in 2012 as a place to put interesting astronomy coursework after it was done. Then it evolved into my contribution to a friend’s essay-a-week competition and in the summer of 2013 I started my first series: Awesome extinct animals. The blog went quiet for a while after that, until mid-way through my scicomm degree, when I decided to write 26 articles, released once a week: the ABCs of Interesting Things.
More recently, it’s been a repository for my writing and videos.
I am always happy to hear from anybody who reads the blog and if you want to get in touch, leave a comment here or reach out on twitter (@farrowjon). If you have a topic in mind that I haven’t covered yet, let me know and I’ll get to it!
For anybody wondering about the image at the top: When I was working on the Christmas Lectures at the Royal Institution, we had the chance to send something to the International Space Station. So we sent that badge, a towel (about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have), and a Christmas card.