Richard Beatty
Biology and Medicine
Richard Beatty - writer and editor

The life sciences have always been one of my main specialist areas. They run in the family – my father was a zoologist who pursued a research career in animal genetics, my mother had a degree in agriculture, and my sister is now a veterinary pathologist.

I have some practical research experience myself, working in a pharmacology laboratory between finishing my degree and starting my publishing career.

Although I have specific areas of interest (see below, plus the Natural History page), I see my familiarity with biomedical writing overall as being an important strength making me a 'safe pair of hands' as editor and proofreader. This familiarity comes from my time as an in-house desk editor in the 1980s as well as from my subsequent freelance career.

Stylistically, biomedical writing throws up many issues relating to hyphenation, abbreviations, chemical terminology, etc., where experience counts in avoiding problems. On the content side, my general background knowledge means that I can readily familiarize or re-familiarize myself with particular life-science subareas as necessary.

Childrens Genetics book Family Health guide book Biology Matters book Pregnant Body book

Examples of particular projects undertaken:

  • I wrote a children's book, Genetics, which was published by Hodder in 2001.
  • I worked as development editor adapting the Harvard Family Health Guide for a UK readership (UK edition published 2003).
  • I was heavily involved with a set of volumes for high-school students entitled 'Biology Matters!' which was published by Grolier in 2004. As well as being the development editor responsible for devising all the volume titles and their chapter contents, I was also the main author of two of the books in the set, Reproduction and Microorganisms.
  • I was the development editor and also one of the copy-editors on Marshall Cavendish's three-volume set Diseases and Disorders (2007), written for a general readership.
  • I researched and wrote the glossaries for the major Dorling Kindersley titles The Complete Human Body (2010) and The Pregnant Body Book (2011).

In addition I do a lot of life-sciences proofreading, both of academic and general titles. I'm also constantly in touch with biomedical literature and its vocabulary as a result of my longstanding work for the Oxford English Dictionary as a scientific library researcher.

Diseases and Disorders biology book