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Shortlist Announced ABSW Science Writers' Awards for Great Britain and Ireland 2016

Winner announced European Science Writer of the Year 2016

The judging panel has met and decided the shortlists for the Association of British Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2016, and the winner of the European Science Writer of the Year Award 2016.   Martin Ince, Chair of the Judging Panel and President of the ABSW said: “Our awards go from strength to strength and this year we had the largest number of entries to date.  The European Science Writer of the Year, now in its second year, has revealed a wealth of talent across Europe and has strengthened links between the ABSW and our European colleagues.”

The winners of all categories will be announced at the ABSW Science Writers Awards Ceremony on 23rd July at Jodrell Bank, following the 3rd European Conference of Science Journalists.  The European Award and all other ABSW Awards are supported by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

European Science Writer of the Year 2016

Winner: Spanish Science Writer of the Year, Michele Catanzaro, a freelance science journalist nominated by Asociacion Española de Comunicacion Cientifica, AECC (Spanish Association of Scientific Communication) & Associació Catalana de Comunicació Científica - ACCC (Catalan Association for Science Communication, Spain)

Highly Commended: French Science Writer of the Year, Stéphane Foucart, a Journalist for the daily French newspaper Le Monde nominated by Association des journalistes scientifiques de la presse d'information

Other Country nominees (each nominee becomes science writer of the year in their nominating country)

Austrian Science Writer of the Year – Elisabeth Schneyder, freelance, nominated by the Austrian Association of Education and Science Journalists

Danish Science Writer of the Year – Jens Ramskov, Journalist at Ingeniøren, nominated by the Danish Science Journalists Association

Dutch Science Writer of the Year – Aliette Jonkers, freelance, nominated by VWN, the Dutch national association for science journalism and communication

Estonian Science Writer of the Year – Arko Olesk, freelance, nominated by the Estonian Association of Science Journalists

Greek Science Writer of the Year – Spiros Kitsinelis, science communicator, nominated by Science View (Greece)

Irish Science Writer of the Year – Claire O’Connell, freelance, nominated by the Irish Science & Technology Journalists' Association (ISTJA)

Serbian Science Writer of the Year – Slobodan Bubnjevic, Editor-in-chief, ELEMENTI, nominated by Mreza Naucnih Novinara, Serbia (The Science Journalist Network)

UK Science Writer of the Year – Steve Connor, freelance (former science editor the Independent), nominated by the Association of British Science Writers


ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2016 – shortlists in all categories (links to shortlisted pieces are provided where available)

Best feature

Erika Check Hayden, Ebola's lasting legacy, published in Nature, 05/03/2015

Suzanne Goldenberg, The doomsday vault: the seeds that could save a post-apocalyptic world, published in The Guardian, 20/05/2015

Natasha Loder, The age of the red pen: It is now easy to edit the genomes of plants, animals and humans, published in the Economist, 22/08/2015

Best news item

Daniel Clery, Dark horse scores a fusion coup, published in Science magazine, 28/08/2015

Steve Connor, Britain to Genetically Modify Human Embryos, the Independent,      18/09/2015

Michael Le Page, Earth now halfway to warming limit, published in New Scientist, 01/08/2015

Best scripted/edited television programme or online video

Team entry: Producer/Director: Tim Usborne. Executive Producer: Jane Aldous. Executive Producer: Mark Tattersall. Assistant Producer: James Sandy. Britain's Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield. First broadcast BBC Four 10/08/2015

Team entry: BBC Science Series Editor: Steve Crabtree. Series Producer: Paul King. Producer and Director: Peter Leonard. Researcher: Claudia Woolston.  Horizon - OCD: A monster in my mind. First broadcast BBC Two 26/08/2015

Team entry: Director: Thom Hoffman. Producer: Lizzie Crouch. Animator: Patrick Koduah. Animator: Victor Opeyokun. Malaria: How can changing the built environment reduce cases? First broadcast Health Check on BBC World News TV 11/05/2015

The Royal Society Radio Prize (NB: A prize for the best scripted/edited radio programme or podcast, supported by The Royal Society):

Kerri Smith. Music and the making of science. Nature Podcast. First broadcast 12/03/2015

Team: Writer and presenter: James Piercy. Producer: Toby Murcott. My Head. Pier Production for BBC Radio 4 and World Service. First broadcast 06/05/2015

Team:  Research, Production & Script Writing:  Max Sanderson. Production, Script Writing, and Sound Design: Hana Walker-Brown. Research, Script Writing, and Presenting:  Dr Michael Brooks. Presenting: Rick Edwards. Science(ish). A podcast produced in-house for the online and app-based platform Radio Wolfgang. First broadcast  03/12/2015

Best investigative journalism

Damian Carrington. Revealed: the flood defences missing after government cuts, published in the Guardian 08/12/2015

Team entry: Maria Cheng & Raphael Satter. Botching Ebola, published by Associated Press, 20/03/2015

Faye Kirkland. Vitamin and mineral infusions, first broadcast on BBC 5 Live 04/01/2015

The NUJ Stephen White Award for best communication and reporting of science in a non science context.   This Award is made in memory of Stephen White a highly influential science communicator who sadly died in 2010.   The Award is possible due to a donation from Stephen’s widow Elizabeth.

Jennie Agg. Inside the metabolism room published in the Good Health section, Daily Mail 29/12/2015

Philip Ball. The God quest: why humans long for immortality, published in New Statesman 30/07/2015

Max Glaskin. What's Stopping You? Published in Bikes Etc magazine 02/11/2015

Best newcomer

Alex O'Brien, Freelance

Faye Kirkland, Freelance

Dalmeet Singh Chawla,  Retraction Watch, formerly freelance

Best student science blog

James Iremonger, Heriot-Watt University. Labyrinthula: navigating the maze. James Iremonger’s blog 16/08/2015

Sophie McManus, University of Cambridge. Women in Science - A Call to Arms. Biodetectives 09/03/2015

Thomas Webb, University of Paul Sabatier & University of Reading. What is the biggest air pollution event in the modern era? EGU blogging platform 24/06/2015

Dr Katharine Giles Science blog award. In memory of Dr Katharine Giles, NERC Research Fellow and Lecturer at the Centre for Polar Observation and Measurement (CPOM) at UCL.

Philip Ball, Prospect blog, Prospect

Alex Bellos, Alex Bellos's Adventures in Numberland, The Guardian

Barbara Kiser, A View from the Bridge: Nature's Books and Arts blog, Nature

The IOP student science publication award supported by IOP Publishing and the Institute of Physics

Explorathon 2015, University of Aberdeen

TheGIST- The Glasgow Insight into Science and Technology, University of Glasgow/University of Strathclyde

The Young Scientists Journal, Herts and Essex High School

Lifetime Achievement Award 2016

There is no shortlist for this category and the award winner will be announced at the ceremony

The ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2016 attracted nearly 250 entries.  An independent panel of science journalists and science communicators judged the entries based on originality, appeal to a broad audience, novelty of subject matter, likely impact, style, content, entertainment, balance and depth of reporting.

Award winners will receive a certificate and a small cash prize and enter the ABSW hall of fame that includes previous Award winners Sir David Attenborough, Sir John Maddox (Nature), and Judith Hann (BBC Tomorrow’s World).

About Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, we are working to create a world without disease. Transforming lives by finding new and better ways to prevent, intercept, treat and cure disease inspires us. We bring together the best minds and pursue the most promising science. We are Janssen. We collaborate with the world for the health of everyone in it. Learn more at Follow us at @JanssenGlobal.

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The Institute of Physics

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We engage with policymakers and the general public to develop awareness and understanding of the value of physics and, through IOP Publishing, we are world leaders in professional scientific communications.

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The Royal Society is a self-governing Fellowship of many of the world’s most distinguished scientists drawn from all areas of science, engineering, and medicine. The Society’s fundamental purpose, as it has been since its foundation in 1660, is to recognise, promote, and support excellence in science and to encourage the development and use of science for the benefit of humanity.

The Society’s strategic priorities emphasise its commitment to the highest quality science, to curiosity-driven research, and to the development and use of science for the benefit of society.

These priorities are:

  1. Promoting science and its benefits
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  3. Supporting outstanding science
  4. Providing scientific advice for policy
  5. Fostering international and global cooperation
  6. Education and public engagement

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3rd European Conference of Science Journalists

The 3rd European Conference of Science Journalists (ECSJ) will be held as a satellite event at EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF).   The Conference jointly organized by the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) and the European Union of Science Journalist Associations (EUSJA), replaces the ABSW’s biennial UK Conference of Science Journalists, extending its reach to journalists throughout Europe.

For further information: