Tim Kirby, freelance writer and editor

About me                   

(BACK) Areas of knowledge Current work Previous work Degrees Interests


In the past I've worked in small and large companies, university research, and the civil service (for ten years, by the end heading a team of 35 staff).

I have a degree in Natural Sciences and a PhD in physiology and computer modelling.

I'm now an author and freelance writer and editor in Cardiff, UK.


Areas of knowledge

Specialist knowledge:


   non-communicable diseases (such as heart disease and cancer)

   nutrition and exercise

   nuclear power


   physics and physiology

   Government, the civil service and public services


Strong background in:


   other sciences (especially chemistry, biochemistry, cell biology, psychology and geology)




   music and the arts




Current work

I am a freelance editor and writer working from home in Cardiff, Wales, which I have been doing for many years now.

In that time, I have edited well over a million words; around half of this has been technical or scientific, and the rest in plain English for a general readership.

Alongside my freelance work, I have written fiction and non-fiction, including

   How to Live to 110, a guide that explains the science behind modern diseases and presents straightforward, science-based steps to avoid these. I co-wrote this with my father, a retired Professor of Medicine. It was published by Metro in 2012. More info...

   A crime thriller set in a ski resort, which I shall publish shortly as an e-book.

   Several scripts, sketches and other shorter works, mostly comedy.


Significant previous posts

My work previous work includes, in reverse order:

Ten years as a civil servant. Main posts included

   Head of a 35-strong team that I built up from scratch. This provided support to the Health Minister and department, with a wide remit that covered providing the public with information, correspondence (many thousands of letters a year), responding to the press, key speeches, oversight of new legislation, etc.

   Oversight of the controversial merger of hospital trusts in Wales, and support to trust chief executives after this.

   Head of a financial management team supporting Welsh hospital trusts.

   Secretary (in effect, project manager) of a Government committee that investigated the environmental impact of the Sea Empress oil spill off the Welsh coast. The committee commissioned £2 million of studies, published a 140-page report for the public (which I edited) and held an international conference.

Four years in IT with the oil company BP Exploration, including

   Programming, data analysis, design

   Internal IT consultancy and user support

   Quality management

   Project management

   Facilitator to business process reengineering

Five years with Edinburgh University, providing IT (and some statistical) support to medical projects, as well as carrying out my own research

   Modelling the body's response to hypoxia during exercise studies

   Dynamic lung and heart imaging during isotope scans

I gained a PhD, and wrote and contributed papers for publication.

Other posts included time as a management assistant at a small technical company with 30 employees.



BA(hons) Natural Sciences, Cambridge University:

  advanced physics, mathematics, geology, cell biology and psychology

PhD, Department of Medicine, University of Edinburgh:

  physiology and computer modelling




Writing, dancing, playing the piano, swimming, skiing, travelling






Co-author of How to Live to 110, an easy-to-read book explaining the science behind major diseases