David Derbyshire

David Derbyshire is an author, media trainer and award-winning journalist who writes about the environment, science and the countryside. He has more than 20 years' experience writing features and news stories for Britain's national newspapers.

His first novel, The Sleep of Reason, co-written with Sir Mark Rowley, was published in April 2022 by Legend Press.

He uses his extensive experience in print journalism to offer media training and consultancy to universities, scientists, charities and businesses through the agency RNA Media


The Sleep of Reason

Co-written with Scotland Yard's former head of counter terrorism and lifelong friend, Sir Mark Rowley, The Sleep of Reason is my first novel.

It's a tense, page-turning thriller that tells the story of detective superintendent Sophie Gabriel as she races to stop a deadly campaign of violence on Britain’s streets from rival Islamist and neo-Nazi terror groups. It explores how young often vulnerable men are groomed and radicalised into murder and how toxic politics fuels extremism and violence.

It's been brilliant writing with Mark. His inside knowledge of policing, counter terrorism and the workings of government is vast - and we've been able to draw on that to create a story that's not just tense, but also exciting.

The Sleep of Reason is published by Legend Press.


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The title of our book comes from an etching by Spanish artist Francisco de Goya y Lucientes, entitled The Sleep of Reason Produces Monsters (El Sueño de la Razon Produce Monstruos). The etching is one of series of 80 published in 1799.

The image shows a sleeping figures at a writing desk surrounded by nightmarish creatures from the imagination and can be seen as a warning of what happens is the absence of rationality.

About me


I began my journalism career on the Grimsby Evening Telegraph in 1993, writing about local government, film and television, pub food and fish.

In 1996 I moved to the Daily Mail and soon after became the Mail's first science correspondent in more than a decade. At the Mail I covered science, environment and technology, and helped launch Email, the Daily Mail's first computing section. 

In 2000 I moved to The Daily Telegraph to become science and medical correspondent. At the Telegraph I launched the Visions of Science photography awards and in 2004 was named Medical Journalist of the Year.

In 2005 I became the Telegraph's first consumer affairs editor. In addition to writing news stories and features, I penned a weekly consumer advice column Buyer Beware. In 2006 I was runner up in the London Press Club Consumer Journalist of the Year awards.

Two years later, I was back at the Daily Mail as Environment Editor. In 2008 I was joint winner of the Press Gazette Environmental Press Awards campaign of the year for the Mail's Ban the Bags campaign.

Since September 2011 I've been a freelance writer - covering environment, science and countryside issues.

In 2015 I co-founded RNA Media, working with experienced medical journalist Jenny Hope, to provide media training for science and health professionals. In 2020, we launched the Impact: Women Scientists in the Media communications workshops with funding from the MRC and NIHR and support from the Science Media Centre. 

My first novel The Sleep of Reason, co-written with Sir Mark Rowley, the Met Police's former head of counter terrorism, was published in April 2022.

David Derbyshire


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Media Training


Working with experienced medical journalist Jenny Hope, I offer bespoke media training and communication workshops for scientists and health professionals through our agency RNA Media.

Recent clients include the Academy of Medical Sciences, the Royal Society, Cambridge University, Merck and Novartis.

In 2020 Jenny and I launched Impact: Women Scientists in the Media - free communication workshops for women in science and health, funded by the Medical Research Council and the National Institute for Health Research, and supported by the Science Media Centre.

To find out more about media training, click to the RNA Media website.


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