Winners Announced in the 2015 Science Journalism Awards – hat-trick for Ian Sample of The Guardian in news
The winners of the Association of British Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2015, supported by Janssen Research and Development were announced at an Awards Ceremony held in London tonight (Thursday 25 June 2015). Ian Sample of the Guardian scored a hat-trick by winning in the news category for the third year in a row.
Ewen Callaway, Tales of the Hobbit, published in Nature, 22-10-2014
Best news item
Ian Sample, Revealed: 100 safety breaches at UK labs handling potentially deadly diseases, published inThe Guardian, 04-12-2014.
Best scripted/edited television programme or online video
Team Entry: Executive Producer: Jonathan Renouf. Producer Director: Nathan Williams. Presenter: Michael Mosley. Researcher: Shamini Bundell. Infested! Living with parasites, A BBC Science Production, London for BBC Four. First broadcast 19-02-2014
Highly commended as a short film: Team entry:Director/Editor:Charlotte Stoddart. Reporter/Narrator:Lizzie Gibney. Laniakea: Our home supercluster, Nature.com andthe Nature Video Channel on YouTube. First broadcast 03-09-2014
The Royal Society Radio Prize (A prize for the best scripted/edited radio programme or podcast, supported by The Royal Society):
Team entry:Performer, Writer/researcher: Helen Keen. Writer/researcher:Miriam Underhill. Performer:Peter Serafinowicz. Producer:Gareth Edwards, It is Rocket Science (Life on Mars, Series 3 Episode 1), BBC Radio 4. First broadcast 02-04-2014
Best investigative journalism
Alexander Masters, A Plutocratic Proposal, published in Mosaic, the e-magazine for the Wellcome Trust, 27-10-2014
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 died in 2010. The Award is possible due to a donation from Stephen’s widow Elizabeth.
Team entry: Devised byJames Gallagher and Rachael Buchanan with additional reporting across BBC News, BBC Day of the Body Clock, published and broadcast on all BBC News platforms, 13-05-2014
Maria Delaney, Freelance
Best student science blog
Matthew Warren, University of Oxford. Won’t somebody please think of the children? Technology and the adolescent brain, Neurobabble, 02-06-2014
Science blog award supported by Good Thinking
Kat Day, The Chronicle Flask,the Chronicle Flask
The IOP student science publication award supported by IOP Publishing and the Institute of Physics
Winner: Broadsheet, Imperial College – Editor-in-Chief: Ben Stockton, Sub Editors: Sophie Reid and Fiona Mashford
Runner Up: I, Science, Imperial College – Co-Editors in Chief: Jennifer Toes and Iona Twaddell and Magazine Editor: Kruti Shrotri
The winners of the first European Science Writer of the Year Award were announced earlier in June and both Tanja Rudez of Croatia and Jop de Vrieze of the Netherlands travelled to London to receive their Awards.
European Science Writer of the Year 2015
Winner: Tanja Rudez, science reporter at Jutarnji List daily, Croatia – nominated by the Croatian Association of Science Journalists
Second: Jop De Vrieze, freelance journalist, The Netherlands – nominated by VWN (Dutch Association of Science Journalists)
Third: Ewen Callaway, senior reporter, Nature, UK – nominated by the Association of British Science Writers
The ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2015 attracted over 200 entries. An independent panel of science journalists and science communicators judged the entries on originality, appeal to a broad audience, novelty of subject matter, likely impact, style, content, entertainment, balance and depth of reporting.
Award winners received 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).
Full details of the winners, those shortlisted, the rules and regulations for the awards, copies of articles where available, and a full list of judges can be found at http://www.absw.org.uk/jobs-awards/awards
Association of British Science Writers (ABSW)
Founded in 1947, the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) exists to help those who write about science, health and technology, and to improve the standard of science journalism in the UK. The ABSW is an association which includes science writers, journalists and broadcasters that promotes the highest standards of journalism and writing by encouraging investigation and creativity. www.absw.org.uk @absw https://www.facebook.com/pages/Association-of-British-Science-Writers-ABSW/
Copies of the shortlisted articles/broadcasts are available on request and/or linked from the ABSW website where possible
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The Royal Society
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
2. Recognising excellence in science
3. Supporting outstanding science
4. Providing scientific advice for policy
5. Fostering international and global cooperation
6. Education and public engagement
Good Thinking Society (http://goodthinkingsociety.org)
Good Thinking Society is a charity founded by Simon Singh, aimed at promoting science and challenging pseudoscience. Its motto is: “Encouraging curious minds and promoting rational enquiry”.
Executive Board Election Results 2015
There were no contested posts in the 2015 elections, and in accordance with the process decided on and approved in conjunction with the election tellers, the candidates standing were approved by the AGM held on Thursday 26th March 2015. The candidates took up post immediately after the AGM and will decide on co-opted members at their first meeting in April, to enable student and associate members to be represented on the Board.
Welcome to your new Executive Board
Nominated by: Victoria Parsons & Wendy Barnaby
Supporting Statement: I am president of the ABSW and have previously been board/committee member and treasurer. I was finance director of the World Conference in London in 2009. Very few branches of writing or journalism in the UK have a professional association as capable as the ABSW. It's an honour to be president. I would very much like a further year in office and promise if elected to make time for this important commitment. The ABSW is now well-run and in good financial shape. Its members benefit from a growing range of activities such as the UK Conference of Science Journalists, and can win broader recognition via our flourishing awards scheme. Both of these have attracted sponsorship, and the awards are being expanded with the addition of new categories. I have several priorities for the next stage of the ABSW's development. One is to strengthen your board with new members. Another is to take forward a mooted scheme for mentoring entrants to the profession, an idea that has come from members and which we are planning to take forward. Yet another, arising from an idea by board colleagues, is a Summer School for ABSW members in years when we do not run a complete UKCSJ. In addition, we are looking at ways of working more effectively with colleagues elsewhere in Europe and with the Ugandan science journalists, our partner organisation in the global south. I'd very much like your support to continue this work for a further year, and would be happy to answer any questions you may have.
Nominated by: Martin Ince & Josh Howgego
Supporting Statement: ABSW today is a successful association that organises great events for its members, from the annual awards to the UK conference – and most recently a summer school for science journalism. It is also at a cutting edge of developments in the sector with its generous fellowship for investigative science journalism and playing a part in reinvigorating science journalism at the European level (through a new award for the best European science writer, and through its work to establish a new European federation of science journalists). It also supports science journalism in developing nations (By twinning with Uganda’s USJA and by co-organising investigative journalism fellowship for the developing world with SciDev.Net). In my three years or so on the ABSW committee I have seen it become more ambitious. I would like to help keep steering it towards doing good things for its members and for science journalism in general. As before, I am keen to keep trying to make the board more responsive to its members and press on with supporting student and early-career members as well as with a more prudent use of resources, by actually increasing spending on activities our members want to see.
Nominated by: Martin Ince & Harriet Bailey
Supporting Statement: I started on the ABSW board as student representative, and have also helped with events. As our current Treasurer must step down I would like to offer myself as the new Treasurer. I am keen for the ABSW to expand as an organisation and continue its excellent work in supporting its membership of science journalists and communicators. The Executive Board posts elected annually and an outline of the responsibilities of each posts are as follows (please scroll down for more on the actual nomination process and the nomination form).
Connie St Louis
Nominated by: Beki Hill & Harriet Bailey
Supporting Statement: Over the last year I have continued to work on behalf of the ABSW with other European Associations to form a new European Federation of Science Journalism (EFSJ). You may remember at the last AGM; the ABSW board was given a mandate by members to leave EUSJA, which was not fit for purpose in the areas of governance and finance. During the year preparations have been made create to a European Federation of Science Journalism. The Swiss and Dutch Association have also left EUSJA and a number of other associations including Italy, Germany will be asking their members to join to become founding members of this new federation. It is hoped that the ABSW membership will support plans to continue with this new formation.
General Executive Board Member (7 posts available)
Nominated by: Martin Ince & Mico Tatalovic
Supporting Statement: I am a long-time board member originally coopted to assist with the adoption of new technologies such as the website. I help represent ABSW in the Creators Rights Alliance and generally contribute ideas and problem-solving.
Nominated by: Ehsan Masood & Martin Ince
Supporting Statement: I have held the position of ABSW member (in charge of events) for a number of years, and would like to stand again for the next term. I have experience of organising science outreach events and have organised a number of successful ABSW events during my time. I would like to stand again to continue to organise events. I would also like to engage with ABSW members in organising the events, and would welcome help and suggestions for event topics.
Nominated by: Mico Tatalovic & Beki Hill
Supporting Statement: I am an early career science editor, currently at SciDev.Net. I'm interested in representing people similarly at the beginning of their careers. And I would like to see the ABSW work to help open up new routes of entry into the profession for people from diverse backgrounds.
Nominated by: Bea Perks & Richard Van Noorden
Supporting Statement: I have been a member of the executive board for the past year, and would love to continue my involvement with the continuing work of ABSW. I’m a freelancer, having previously been on staff at Nature and Chemistry World. I'm particularly interested in ways that ABSW can support freelancers, young writers and those who aren't based in London.
The ABSW has signed a joint letter to the Rt Hon Francis Maude MP Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General expressing concern about revisions to the Civil Service Code that could prevent scientsts responding to the needs of journalists.
The letter has been signed by:
Martin Ince, President, ABSW
Sir Colin Blakemore, Honorary President ABSW
Fiona Fox, Chief Executive, Science Media Centre
Dr Ed Sykes, Chair of Stempra
The Guardian have now taken up the story:
As have Science
The Medical Journalists Association has also sent a letter to Rt Hon Francis Maude
Nature reports clarification over the code and Research Councils
Stephen Straus, President of the Canadian Science Writers' Association has provided this link describing the timeline of Canada's muzzling of scientists
A response has been received to the ABSW letter sent to the Rt Hon Francis Maude MP Minister for the Cabinet Office and Paymaster General expressing concern about revisions to the Civil Service Code that could prevent scientists responding to the needs of journalists.
The BMJ has also taken up this issue in a Feature published at the end of April (NB: the full article is behind BMJ paywall)
The ABSW, alongside the SMC and Stempra will continue to monitor changes to the Code, its effect on civil service scientists and on the freedom for such scientists to speak with journalists.
Connie St Louis, former President of the ABSW and currently the Board's European Representative, has been elected to the Board of the World Federation of Science Journalists.
Connie was elected alongside Mohammed Yahia of Egypt, a further vote is currently taking place for the third available post as the first round of voting resulted in a tie between Olivier Dessibourg (Switzerland) and Wolfang Goede (Germany).
For a full run down of the candidates and the votes see the WFSJ website.
ABSW AGM AGENDA