Chris Temple: Partnership Executive at Research Features

Research Features is a science communication platform, providing articles, podcasts and videos to help to break down the barriers between science and the public. We believe our work is important as it helps people know what’s going on in the scientific community.

As part of our excellent Partnerships team, we have Chris Temple who’s been with us for two years. In this blog, we’re talking to the man behind the keyboard about what drives him to keep doing what he’s doing, and his (incredibly fascinating) background. He’ll also be penning a series of blogs here, so keep your eyes peeled for those.

Could you introduce yourself, walk us through your background?

A black and white headshot of Chris Temple, Partnership Executive at Research Features
Chris Temple, Partnership Executive at Research Features

Believe it or not, I didn’t always want to work in publishing or the scientific world. I started off as a marine engineer, producing equipment for deep underwater settings. I was lucky enough to be sponsored by ABB Engineering, but soon realised that I preferred working with wood, so I left to become a self-employed carpenter.

I moved into optics next and was a dispensing optician for 6 years. I even had my own practice for about a year. Unfortunately, I then had to give it all up as I had three aneurysms and went blind – it wasn’t exactly the best pairing, a blind optician!

After that I moved into the realm of internet companies and technology start-ups, focusing on alumni platforms. That’s where I started getting into the sphere of academia, but it wasn’t a full-blown passion yet. It was during this time that I met the Head of Partnerships here at Research Features – Joe Miles. We worked together on a few projects, then went our separate ways before meeting back up again.

How did the aneurysms affect your life?

It was massive, I had brain surgery and lost a chunk of my memory for some time. It’s come back now, but it affected my short-term memory, which is why I always take so many notes in meetings! I did get my sight back too, after about four months. I have almost 20/20 vision now, so I recovered well.

Having that experience changed the way I think about science and research. I found a new passion for all things surgery and neurology – I’ve been there and experienced what it can do for you. I believe people should know about what’s going on in the world of medicine. Research Features has some amazing articles that really bring that to light, really seeing what’s going on that maybe you wouldn’t be aware of otherwise.

And how about your life outside Research Features?

I’m a family man at heart – I’ve got two kids who are my absolute world. My stepson is 22, and my daughter is 11. There’s a bit of an age gap, but I think that works because they can then be independent together, rather than needing us parents hanging around and cramping their style!

A picturesque image of a church in the background with the light of the sunset on it. There are sheep in the front grazing on the grass. An image of the Cotswolds, Gloucestershire, where Chris Temple, Partnership Executive at Research Features, lives.
Dave Knibbs/Shutterstock.com

I live on the edge of the Cotswolds, a truly beautiful part of the world. I’ve been working with the company long enough to be friends with Simon, the founder of Research Features, as well as our sister brands: Research Outreach, Sci Ani and ResearchPod. We’ve started playing bowls together, although I’m not playing this season.

I love to travel; I backpacked around the world, spending three months in Australia and 2 months in Fiji. While I was in Australia, I got my PADI diving licence on the Great Barrier Reef. My dad was in the RAF and was posted in Cyprus for about ten years, so I essentially grew up on the beach. I love going back to Cyprus when I can, although it makes me sad. If you compare the ocean from 30 years ago to now, I can see that it’s changed and is just full of plastic. It’s why climate change is so close to my heart – I want to leave a decent world for my kids.

A beach in Cyprus, littered with plastic.
Solianova Margarita/Shutterstock.com

So, why Research Features?

I’m a problem solver– I love hearing about what’s going on with a person, and being able to match them to their perfect solution. I get to speak to so many fascinating people who tell me all about their research, so I get this really detailed understanding of what’s ‘buzzing’ in the scientific world.

I also think any person on the street should be able to keep up to date with cutting edge research. It shouldn’t be hidden behind paywalls and difficult jargon – and the researchers who put hours into their work really should be able to share that with the wider public. .

A lot of public money goes into research projects that barely get seen by anyone. And a lot of the research being done is in the public’s best interests – so why is it so difficult to understand? I love the clarity we bring to this, every time. Every article we produce is of the utmost quality, and the researchers are always included at every step of the way. I never want anyone’s research to be misunderstood or mis-represented; that’s the exact opposite of what we want to do.

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