Freelance profile

Barbara Kiser

Proven skills in science journalism (Nature, New Scientist and SciDev.Net), in editing formats from books to policy briefs, and in writing - with a particular focus on book reviews and essays. Thoroughly grounded in environmental issues, international development and the nexus of culture and science. London-based.

Contact details:

Region/nation: London
Country: United Kingdom
Also find me on: LinkedIn | Twitter |


See suggested rates:

Online journalismRates: Online/writing
Commissioning editorRates: Print media
Subeditor or editorRates: Sub-editing
Feature writerRates: Print media
Book editorRates: Print media - editing/producing books
Electronic publishingRates: Online/editing
from the Freelance Fees Guide.


  • Sciences
  • Social Sciences
  • Arts/entertainment
  • Environment and conservation
  • Design
  • Current affairs
  • Gardening and horticulture

Major clients:

  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Issues in Science and Technology
  • The Los Angeles Review of Books
  • Zocalo Public Square
  • The London Magazine

Profile last updated: 2021-05-09 16:12:06

Extra information:

After 10 years as Nature’s commissioning editor for books and arts, I returned to freelancing in 2020 and have published in outlets from The Wall Street Journal to Issues in Science and Technology. Pre-Nature, I worked for New Scientist, SciDev.Net and international bodies such as the renowned NGO IIED and the UN agencies FAO and IMO.

I edit books, reports, policy briefs, blogs, websites and other formats, and am a practised writer of same, specializing in book reviews and essays. I’m interested in the nexus of science and culture, and particularly in environmental and environmental-justice issues, and I have a thorough grounding in the humanities.

As a long-term US expat who has lived in Italy and Britain, I offer a nuanced view of society, culture and politics on both sides of the Atlantic.


Looking back over the dozens of drafts I’ve sent Barb over the years, I see that the first words of mine that she read professionally were, “It’s a truism that…” She struck them — an auspicious start. She went on to shorten my drops, disinter my leads, untangle my metaphors, find footings for my participles, swiften my kickers and make bonfires of my vanities. She is old-school in the best way: she provides a level of personalized attention that is rare in publishing nowadays. Working with Barb continues to teach me much about the writer’s craft and — such is that craft — ultimately about myself.
- Nathaniel Comfort, Professor, Department of the History of Medicine, Johns Hopkins University

Barbara is a brilliant editor who I was lucky to have worked with and who, from my perspective, inspiringly enlarged the scope of what a Nature reader might encounter in terms of literature and the arts. 
- Robert Macfarlane, Fellow, Emmanuel College, University of Cambridge, and author of books including Mountains of the MindThe Old Ways and Underland

Barbara is just the right sort of exacting you want from an editor.  A commission would begin with a stimulating discussion about the wider scope and context of the piece, and would proceed to meticulous and collaborative close editing and checking, always informed by her deep knowledge of books, science and politics. 
- Felicity Lawrence, Guardian correspondent and author of Not on the Label and Eat Your Heart Out