Summer School

Finalists announced ABSW Science Writers Awards for Great Britain and Ireland

The finalists in the 2017 Association of British Science Writers’ (ABSW) Awards for Great Britain and Ireland have been decided.  The ABSW is also pleased to announce the country nominees in this year’s European Science Writer of the Year Award.

Two hundred and twenty-eight entries were considered by the independent panel of science journalists and science communicators who 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.  

Chair of the judging panel, ABSW Chair and Environment News Editor of New Scientist, Mico Tatalovic said:

“This has been a great year for quality of entries, and I’ve enjoyed immensely chairing the judging panel and discussing the wonderful shortlist with the other judges. I was especially happy to see strong entries for the investigative category, as investigative science journalism is something we’ve championed and supported over the last few years.

However, the fact that we did have such strong entries also means that many great stories and excellent reporters didn’t make it into the shortlist. That’s just the nature of awards and it does reflect the strength of science journalism in the UK and Ireland today, which is undoubtedly some of the best in the world.”

The Awards are supported by Johnson & Johnson Innovation with additional category support from The Royal Society, The Dr Katharine Giles Fund, and the NUJ/Stephen White Award.  2017 saw the introduction of a new awards for Student Science Journalist of the Year, and the news category being open to entry from broadcast journalists for the first time. 

The winners of all categories plus the European Science Writer of the Year, will be announced at an awards ceremony on May 25, 2017 at The Royal Society in London.


European Science Writer of the Year finalists*

Spiros Kitsinelis, freelance and scientific collaborator of Science View, Greek Chemist Association and SKAI radio, Greek Science Writer of the Year nominated by Science View

Kata Karáth, freelance, Hungarian Science Writer of the Year nominated by Tudományos Újságírók Klubja (Club of Hungarian Science Journalists)

Jürgen Langenbach, Science Correspondent, Die Presse, Austrian Science Writer of the Year nominated by Klub der Bildungs - und WissenshaftshournalistInnen

Andrey Vaganov, deputy editor-in-a-chief of "Nezavisimaya Gazeta"("Independent"), executive editor of "NG-Science" (monthly supplement), Russian Science Writer of the Year nominated by Russian Association for Science Writers “Intellect”

Maria Bolevich, freelance, Montenegrin Science Writer of the Year nominated by Balkan Network of Science Journalists in Montenegro

Luiza Vasiliu, reporter at Casa Jurnalistului/editor at Scena9, Romanian Science Writer of the Year nominated by Balkan Network of Science Journalists in Romania

Hester van Santen, science journalist NRC media, Dutch Science Writer of the Year nominated by VWN

Vedrana Simcevic, reporter Novi list, Croatian Science Writer of the Year nominated by Balkan Network of Science Journalists in Croatia

Ivan Cadjenovic, Journalist, Independent daily newspapers “Vijesti”, Montenegrin Science Writer of the Year nominated by the Association of Science Journalists of Montenegro

Vasiliki Michopoulou, freelance, Greek Science Writer of the Year nominated by the International Science Writers Association

Wociech Mikoluszko, freelance, Polish Science Writer of the Year nominated by Polish Association of Science Journalists (

Esther Paniagua, freelance, Spanish Science Writer of the Year nominated by Asociación Española de Comunicación Científica (AECC) Spanish Association of Science Communication

Lise Barneoud, freelance, French Science Writer of the Year nominated by AJSPI

Anthony King, freelance, Irish Science Writer of the Year nominated by Irish Science & Technology Journalists’ Association

Jessica Hamzelou, reporter New Scientist, British Science Writer of the Year nominated by the Association of British Science Writers


ABSW Science Writers Awards for Great Britain and Ireland - Finalists

NB: Links are provided to articles/programmes/videos where possible


The best feature

Daniel Clery for, The next big eye, published in Science Magazine

Jane Qiu for, Trouble in Tibet, published in Nature

Alexandra Witze for, On the hunt for a mystery planet, published in Nature

The best news item - now open to broadcast journalists

Clive Cookson for, Luxembourg to mine asteroids, published in the Financial Times

Jo Marchant for,Human skeleton found on famed Antikythera wreck, published in Nature

Ian Sample for, UK scientists dropped from EU projects because of post-Brexit funding fears, published in the Guardian

The best scripted/edited television programme or online video

The computer that mastered Go, broadcast by Nature on Youtube. Researched, produced, directed and edited by Noah Baker. Camera work by Michael O'Halloran.

Why there could be many identical copies of you broadcast on BBC Earth. Idea originated and scripted by Melissa Hogenboom. Video production, editing and special effects by Pierangelo Pirak.

How to stay young, broadcast on BBC1. Produced and directed by Nat Sharman. Series producer, Andrew Thompson. Executive producer Paul Overton.

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

Science(ish): Interstellar, broadcast on Radiowolfgang. Presented by Michael Brooks and Rick Edwards. Produced by Hana Walker-Brown and Max Sanderson.

The inflamed mind, broadcast by BBC News for BBC Radio 4. Presented by James Gallagher. Produced by Rachael Buchanan and Andrew Luck-Baker.

The whale menopause, broadcast on BBC Radio 4. Presented by Victoria Gill. Produced by Andrew Luck-Baker.

The science hour: Gravitational wave discovery, broadcast on the BBC World Service. Produced by Adrian Washbourne. Presented by Claudia Hammond. Reporting by Aleem Maqbool.  

The best investigative journalism

Ian Birrell for, How the mafia is causing cancer, published by Mosaic

Maria Cheng and Krista Larson for, Botching yellow fever, published by the Associated Press

Andy Coghlan for, Shaken baby science questioned, published by New Scientist

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.

Tom Chivers for, This is why a computer winning at Go is such a big deal, published by Buzzfeed

Clive Cookson for, The numbers man, published in the Financial Times Weekend Magazine

Warren Manger for, Three heroes of ‘66 have dementia, published in the Daily Mirror

The Dr Katharine Giles science blog award. This Award is supported by the Dr Katharine Giles Fund

Pete Etchells, Thalia Gjersoe, Chris Chambers and Molly Crockett for, Head Quarters, published by The Guardian

Aran Shaunak for, Mr Shaunak’s little bites of science, published by Bites of Science Blog

Benjamin Thompson and Anand Jagatia, Microbe Post, published The Microbiology Society

The best newcomer award

Adam Levy, Multimedia editor at Nature

Timothy Revell, Reporter at New Scientist

Max Sanderson, Freelance audio producer and writer

The best student science journalist - new award for 2017

Julia Gottwald, PhD Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, for Does your brain have a sex?, published in BlueSci

Manon Mispiratceguy, BSc Zoology, University of St Andrews for, Your wine and climate change, published on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Aran Shaunak, MSc Science Communication, Imperial College London for, The end of the golden age of antibiotics?, published in The Triple Helix


Lifetime achievement awards are granted in some years by the ABSW Executive Board. There are no finalists and those being granted this prestigious award are decided by the ABSW Executive Board from ABSW member’s nominations.

Award winners 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).

*European Science Writer of the Year finalists are nominated by science journalism associations representing different regions or countries within Europe. The winner is decided by a panel of judges representing different European countries/associations.The ABSW considers the nominated entrants to be those countries’ Science Writer of the Year.