For the first 10 years, while directly employed by companies, I had to fly to attend conferences because my employers expected it. Since going freelance in 2009, I have turned down opportunities to fly, travelling internationally from the UK via Eurostar or ferry.
I feel that I have benefited from the ability to turn down events that other people feel obligated to go to, and instead focus on productive writing work.
Before becoming a full-time science writer, Andy Extance worked for six and a half years in early-stage drug discovery research, followed by brief stint in silicone adhesive and rubber manufacturing. However, when he had his first feature published in Chemistry World in 2004 – on a cause of common heart-related problems in new drug candidates – the course of his career shifted.
After working as news editor for Compound Semiconductor magazine, he went freelance in 2009. Today Andy’s science writing explores everything related to chemistry, from Earth’s environment to space, from food to fusion, and from solar cells to how we smell.