Connie St Louis
Connie began her professional journalism career in 1990 when she joined the BBC’s two-year Network Radio Trainee Reporter Scheme. After one year, she secured a job as Producer and was promoted to Senior Producer in the BBC Science Unit working on a wide range of programmes including weekly magazine programmes such as ‘Science Now’ and ‘Medicine Now’. In 1996 she moved to the radio documentary features department to make documentaries and also to create, develop and edit Radio 4’s first black and Asian magazine programme, ‘In Living Colour’. While there, Connie also produced the 1997 Reith Lectures with Professor Patricia Williams on the subject of Race The Genealogy of Race
She then worked as a special assistant to the Controller of Production in the Compliance Unit of BBC Production, responding to serious compliance breaches within the BBC and developing training to address such problems. After leaving the BBC to work as a freelancer, she continued her journalistic practice, including presenting Radio 4’s landmark Life As series 2002-2004.
Connie was appointed as a Visiting Lecturer in the Department of Journalism at City University London in 2003, and designed the Masters in Science Journalism, launched in 2009.
Her research interests focus on the practice of science journalism and the roles of PR, communications and social media on the role of the science journalist. She also examines the use of Twitter in reporting of diseases such as swine flu and Ebola, as well as investigating aspects of race in the media.
BSc (Hons) Applied Biology, University of Hertfordshire (formerly Hatfield Polytechnic)
Senior Lecturer in Journalism, City University London, 2010 – to present
Full time Lecturer in Journalism, City University London, 2008 – 2010
Part time Lecturer in Journalism, City University London, 2005 – 2008
Visiting Lecturer, City University London, 2003 – 2005
BBC Network Radio, Broadcasting House London, 1990–2005
Awards and Prizes
GlaxoSmithKline/ABSW Award for Life as a Teenager series, Radio 4 (2002).
Annual University Research Competition
Joint winner of the 4th City University London 2010 Interdisciplinary Research Prize.
- Kostkova, P., Szomszor, M. and St Louis, C. (Jul 2014). #swineflu: The use of twitter as an early warning and risk communication tool in the 2009 swine flu pandemic. ACM Transactions on Management Information Systems (TMIS), 5(2), . doi: 10.1145/2597892
- Fox, F. and St Louis, C. (17 Jun 2013). Science media centers & the press, part 1: Does the UK model help journalists?. Columbia Journalism Review.
- St Louis, C. (16 Jan 2013). Don’t let the PR industry annex science journalism. Research Professional, 22-22.
- St Louis, C. (22 Oct 2013). We need to talk about sexism in science. The Guardian.
- St Louis, C. (14 Nov 2013). Desperate couples are misled by only positive reports of IVF. The Conversation.
- St Louis, C. and Zorlu, G. (Jan 2012). Can Twitter predict disease outbreaks?. BMJ (Clinical research ed.), 344, e2353.
- (2011). Reframing libel. London: City University London.
- St Louis, C. (2011). What is a Science Journalist for: Communication or Investigation?. Mair, J. and Keeble, R.L. (Ed.), Investigative Journalism: Dead or Alive? London: Abramis Academic Publishing.
- Szomszor, M., Kostkova, P. and St Louis, C. (07 Nov 2011). Twitter informatics: Tracking and understanding public reaction during the 2009 Swine Flu pandemic. , doi: 10.1109/WI-IAT.2011.311
Academic Programme Leadership
Modules Taught (City University London)
- Writing and Reporting (2004-2007)
- Radio Production (2004-2007)
- Research and Interviewing (2008-2009)
- Reporting Science and the Environment (2015 - )
- Science Reporting (2009 to present)
- Editorial Production Radio (2009 to present)
- Science Journalism, Administration and Society (2009 to present)
- E-Health Conference, Malaga 2011, Scientific Media Chair chairing a panel on the communication of risk in the media. I was in charge of the Social Media Strategy theme.
- E-Health Conference, Casablanca Dec 2010, Swine Flu and Twitter: What were the important web resources (news articles, blog posts, health agencies and organisations) that were popular on Twitter at the height of the pandemic?
- Reframing Libel’ Conference, Centre of Law, Justice and Journalism, City University London Nov 2010, Conference convenor and editor of ‘Reframing Libel’, the first in a series of working papers for the Centre for Law Justice and Journalism, published May 2011.
- Invited lecture: ‘Law, Media and Genetics’, Columbia University, New York Jan 2010,
- The International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST), Florence, Italy Apr 2012, Paper: ‘Five years of science journalism complaints sent to the PCC, Ofcom and BBC: An indication of quality?’
- ‘Valuing the BBC’, AHRC-sponsored Seminar, City University London May 2013, Lecture: ‘BBC Science in an Uncritical Sphere; what value to the Public?’
- Dutch Science Communication Conference, Oct 2014, Invited speaker: ‘What are science journalists for…communication or investigation?’
- International Public Communication of Science and Technology (PCST), Salvador, Brazil Apr 2014, Convened a themed session of papers which focused on the role and function of Science Media Centres. Delivered a paper entitled ‘The Impact of the UK Science Media Centre (SMC) on Science Reporting in UK newspapers: Empowering or dis-empowering for the public?’
- Annual Conference of the International Association for Media and Communication Research Montreal, Motreal, Canada 2015, As part of a conference theme entitled ‘Hegemony or Resistance? On the Ambiguous Power of Communication’, I delivered a paper entitled ‘♯Ebola: A source of empowerment or disempowerment?’
- Science Online 2010, 16 Jan 2010, North Carolina, US. Keynote speaker ‘How does a science journalist know which scientists to trust?’
- Health and the Media, Symposium hosted by the Media Futures Research Centre, 2011, Bath Spa University. Keynote speaker.
- Health in the Headlines: A European Conference on Health Journalism, 2011, Coventry University. Keynote speaker.
- Seventh World Conference of Science Journalists, Doha, Qatar and Science Journalism Education Conference, Jun 2011, Doha, Qatar. Keynote speaker and panel member.
- Mind the Brian Symposium, Nov 2014, Berlin, Germany. Keynote speaker: ‘Neuroscience and the media’
- International School of Science Journalism, May 2013, Erice, Italy. Keynote speaker
- World Conference of Science Journalists, 2013, Helsinki, Finland. Keynote speaker: ‘Where now for professional science journalism?’
- World Conference of Science Journalists, 2015, Seoul, South Korea. Keynote speaker
- Contributor and guest curator, 23 Jun 2011, In Media Res
- Science Prizes, 28 Jun 2011, The Guardian Interviewed by the Guardian’s Martin Robbins for the ‘Lay Scientist’ blog about the lack of investigation in science journalism
- Desperate couples are misled by only positive reports of IVF, 14 Nov 2013, The Conversation
- We need to talk about sexism in science, 22 Oct 2013, The Guardian (Print)
- OHTV current affairs programme 'Headlines', 15 Jun 2011, Live currents affairs newspaper review focussing on the health reforms
- Ethnic drugs the magic bullet?, 10 Oct 2007 on BBC Radio 4. I presented and produced this investigative documentary which looked at how pharmaceutical companies had begun to market drugs specifically targeted at people from different ethnic backgrounds..
- Today Programme, 26 Dec 2014 on BBC Radio 4. Participant in a discussion with Professor Steve Jones about the growing sceptism of climate change by the public..
- Womans Hour, 25 Sep 2013 on BBC Radio 4. Debate about the reporting of IVF in the media.
- Today Programme, 21 Jul 2011 on BBC Radio 4. Participant in a discussion with Lord Robert May about the BBC Trust 's report written by Professor Steve Jones entitled 'A review of impartiality and accuracy of the BBC's coverage of science'.
- Today Programme, 27 Sep 2013 on BBC Radio 4. Expert commentary on release of IPCC report. Discussing the role of the media and science in the poor engagement of the public with climate change..
- Between 2009 -2011, I carried out research on the retention of black and minority journalists by the BBC as part of the ESRC project Widening Ethnic Diversity in Journalism – Towards Solutions. This resulted in a paper that was delivered at an ESRC symposium hosted at City University London and included in the special edition of the journal Ethical Space.
- British Delegate to General Assembly of European Union Science Journalism Association (EUSJA) (2011–2013).
- President of the Association of British Science writers (ABSW) (2011–2013)
- Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Elected 12 April 2002.