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09 Mar 09
Karen embedded in Iraq
Embedded with British Forces in southern Iraq, 2008

Welcome to a different little blog spot that, at first glance, might appear to ramble on a random collection of today's hottest topics.

But, just as forward operating bases are on the front line of war zones, FOB BLOG aspires to be my take on news from the sharp end of life on this planet and beyond.

And there is a method in the madness: I've worked my way through being a pharmacist, science lecturer and aid worker to international news journalist and defence editor.

I've reported from those well-known holiday destinations of Afghanistan and Darfur, worked alongside Ethiopians and Serbs, and explored Peru and Bhutan.

Climate change keeps me awake at night but I wonder if the appliance of science can come to our rescue. If the boffins could put a man on the moon before they gave us mobile phones then maybe there's hope.

So, click your way around my colour-coded thoughts and observations on the unusual, unexplained, uplifting and controversial.


My resume in brief:

I am a qualified pharmacist with a PhD and I have a Masters in Multi-Media Journalism.

2009 Freelance Print and Online Journalist (New Scientist technology feature writer:

2008 Soldier magazine, Acting Web and Print Editor (

2005 to 2008 Soldier magazine, Assistant Editor

2005 to 2006 BBC World Service News and Current Affairs, The World Today, Freelance Producer

2004 to 2005 BBC News Sponsorship Scheme Trainee

2004 to 2005 Masters in Multi-Media Journalism, University of Bournemouth and Kosovo (

2003 to 2004 European Agency for Reconstruction, Serbia, Health Policy Consultant

2002 Médecins Sans Frontières, Nigeria, Campaign Project Coordinator

1999 to 2001 Voluntary Service Overseas, Ethiopia, Head of School of Pharmacy / Lecturer

1994 to 1998 PhD, University of Portsmouth, Researcher / Pharmacy Lecturer

1990 to 2001 Bachelor of Pharmacy / Locum in UK hospital and community pharmacies, and in industry

©Karen Thomas, 2009