I am the presenter of BBC Scotland’s flagship science series for radio and podcast Brainwaves. Over the course of 7 series, through documentary and indepth one to one interviews, I have explored a huge range of subjects and ideas. From biometrics to fracking, soundscape ecology, the psychology of the selfie, a search for silence, Scotland’s nuclear legacy and much, much more.
Loosely aimed at delving into the ‘science of the everyday experience’ Brainwaves is consistently praised for its innovative, engaging and thought provoking approach to unpacking questions relevant to us all.
Indepth interviewees have included some of the most influential and acclaimed scientists working in the UK. Professor Peter Higgs; Professor Dame Anne Glover; Professor Lesley Yellowlees; Professor Lee Cronin; Professor Polly Arnold; Professor Geoff Palmer; Professor Niamh nic Daeid; Professor Tracey Wilkinson and many more.
I have regularly chaired events at the Edinburgh International Science Festival exploring a diverse range of ideas including gender and the brain; intelligence; the science of exploration; technology and mental health; whether science could extend our age indefinitely.
I didn’t ever think that I would be listening with rapt attention to a radio programme on “fracking” or “algorithms”, but somehow Pennie makes everything so intensely interesting and I find myself utterly absorbed. – Dr Kirsty Adamson
All things food
A committed foodie, in 2011 I developed and presented BBC Radio Scotland’s long running and highly respected weekly food magazine ‘The Kitchen Cafe’ – a high energy mix of live cooking and location recording and a passionate celebration of Scotland’s larder. With interviewees including top chefs like Madhur Jaffrey, Yotam Ottolenghi, Tom Kitchin, Neil Forbes, Michael Smith, Ghillie Basan, Mark Greenaway, Lady Claire Macdonald and Sue Lawrence along many, many more ‘The Kitchen Cafe’ firmly established itself as the home of Scotland’s food industry.
Following on from the success of the Kitchen Cafe I developed and presented ‘The Kitchen Garden’, a lively seasonal weekly guide to how to make the most of your veg plot and your plate!
Event and festival chairing
I think of all the amazing and talented people who I’ve interviewed over the years its the authors who leave me truly star struck. I do love a good book and I’m in complete awe of beautiful writing, crafted on the page. Over the years I have had the enormous pleasure of chairing events at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Edinburgh International Science Festival, the Inverness Book Festival and Edinburgh’s Debut Authors Festival.
Interviewees have included Adam Nicolson, Mark Billingham, Sarah Gray, Ghillie Basan, Andrew Greig and many more.
“Pennie’s broadcasting skills are second to none. She engages her listeners and interviewees and her voice is both friendly and authoritative. Hers is a voice the listener trusts. She is equally comfortable handling harder subjects as she is with lighter material and treats her interviewees with respect. Pennie has a naturally inquisitive mind and forensic approach to all manner of subjects which is evident in her work. She puts interviewees at their ease and gets the best out of them; they are relaxed and know they are in safe hands.”
– Deirdre Devlin, Executive Producer BBC Landward