Summer School

Association of British Science Writers - Shortlist Announced for 2014 Journalism Awards

The judging panel has met and decided the shortlists for the Association of British Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2014.

Connie St Louis, Chair of the Judging Panel and Programme Director, MA Science Journalism, City University, London, said: "Since receiving support from Janssen Research and Development to re-establish our Awards in 2010, they have gone from strength to strength. The number of categories for entry has doubled from five to ten over the past five years, with new awards this year for blogging and student science publications. Next year we will be introducing a category of European Science Journalist of the Year to further expand our celebration of great science journalism to the rest of Europe."

The winners will be announced at the ABSW Science Writers' Awards Ceremony on 18th June in London, following the ABSW’s biennial UK Conference of Science Journalists.

Best feature 

Stuart Clark, Freelance for Ear on the Universe, published by New Scientist, 21-09-2013

Jessa Gamble, Researcher at Arup for The End of Sleep? published by Aeon Magazine (online), 10-04-2013

Michael Le Page, Biology and environment editor at New Scientist for The lowdown on the slowdown published by New Scientist, 07-12-2013

Best news item

Ewen Callaway, Senior Reporter, Nature, for Deal done over HeLa cell line published by Nature 07-08-2013

Robin McKie, Science and Technology Editor, The Observer, for Gene Wars: the last ditch battle over who owns the rights to our DNA published by The Observer, 21-04-2013

Ian Sample, Science Correspondent, The Guardian, for US scientists boycott Nasa conference over China ban published by The Guardian, 05-10-2013

The best scripted/edited television programme or online video

Team Entry: Paul Olding (Writer/Producer/Director), Freelance and Michael Scott (Presenter/Writer), Historian, for The Mystery of Rome’s X Tombs broadcast BBC Two, 29-07-2013

Team Entry: Will Goodbody, Science and Technology Correspondent, RTÉ and Paul Deighan, RTÉ news cameraman, for Irish scientists at CERN’s cutting edge broadcast on Nationwide on RTÉ1, 18-10-2013

Team Entry: Jacqueline Smith (Executive Producer, BBC Television and Series Producer), Nathan Budd (Producer), James Logan (Presenter), for Insect Dissection: How Insects Work broadcast BBC Four, 20-03-2013. The programme was a co-production between BBC Four and Discovery Science.

The Royal Society Radio Prize

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

Team Entry: Alex Bellos (Writer/Research) and Andrew Luck-Baker (BBC Radio Producer) for Nirvana by Numbers broadcast BBC Radio 4, 07-10-2013

Team Entry: Anne McNaught (BBC Radio Scotland Producer) and Euan McIlwraith (Presenter) for Scotland’s Wildlife: Supporting Native Species, broadcast BBC Schools Radio, Scotland, 26-09-2013

Team Entry: Kerri Smith (Audio Editor/Journalist, Nature) and Charlotte Stoddart (Audio Editor/Journalist, Nature), for Nature PastCast: May 1985, published by Nature Podcasts, 17-05-2013

Best investigative journalism

Alison Abbott, Senior European Correspondent at Nature for Italian Stem-Cell Trial based on flawed data published Nature News website, 02-07-2013

Steve Connor, Science Editor at the Independent for Billionaires secretly fund attacks on climate science published by the Independent, 25-01-2013

Team Entry: Mike Power (Writer), Bobbie Johnson (Editor), Kristen French (Fact checker), Tim Heffernan (Copy editor) for Uncontrolled Substances published by MATTER, 25-10-2013

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.

Team Entry: Michelle Martin (BBC Science Radio Producer), Tracey Logan (Presenter) for Technicolour broadcast BBC Radio 4, 30-01-2013

Team Entry: Will Goodbody, Science and Technology Correspondent, RTÉ and Paul Deighan, RTÉ news cameraman, for Irish scientists at CERN’s cutting edge broadcast Nationwide on RTÉ1, 18-10-2013

Christopher White, freelance, for The complete guide to DNA for family historians published by Your Family Tree Magazine, 27-03-2013

Best newcomer

Melissa Hogenboom, Assistant Producer/Science reporter BBC. Read Melissa's articles here:

Joanne O’Dea, Formerly of ScienceBusiness currently Freelance

Jennifer Whyntie, Assistant Producer, BBC.  Listen to programmes in which Jennifer had a role from researcher to producer:

The Good Thinking student science blog

supported by Good Thinking (new award for 2014)

Sarah Hearne, PhD student, Department of Zoology, Trinity College Dublin, for Sea Serpents off the Port Bow! Published by, 01-11-2013

Lauren Hoskin, MSc Science Communication, Imperial College London, for The changing flora of obesity, published by, 25-09-2013

Matthew Warren, DPhil Student, University of Oxford, for Synchrotrons, ships and sulphur: Using a particle accelerator to help conserve the Mary Rose, published by, 14-10-2013

Best science blog

(new award for 2014)

Not Exactly Rocket Science (Individual Entry) Ed Yong. Published by National Geographic

Cancer Research UK Science Blog (Team Entry) Editorial Team: Henry Scowcroft, Kat Arney, Oliver Childs, Nick Peel. Published by Cancer Research UK

Head Quarters (Team Entry) Core Bloggers: Chris Chambers, Molly Crockett, Pete Etchells, Thalia Gjersoe. Published by The Guardian

The IOP student science publication award supported by IOP Publishing and the Institute of Physics (new award for 2014):

theGIST, printed magazine (University of Strathclyde & University of Glasgow). Editors: Timothy Revell, Emilie Steinmark, Alan Boyd 

Spark Magazine, printed magazine (University of York). Team Entry: Will Ingram (Editor), Matt Ravenhall (Editor), Ellen Rawlins (Photography Editor), Tree Jervis (Web Editor), Jess Wynn (Content Editor)

Women Rock Science (online publication). Editor, Hadiza Mohammed

Life Time Achievement Award

There is no short list for the Award as ABSW members nominate and the ABSW Board decides upon the winner. The winner will be announced at the Awards Ceremony.

The ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2014 attracted nearly 200 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).

Full details of the rules and regulations for the awards and a full list of judges can be found at


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UK Conference of Science Journalists (UKCSJ14)

A full day of discussion and debate for up to 300 journalists, with three key aims:

  • To discuss and debate contemporary issues in science journalism
  • To encourage and provide skills for newcomers
  • To promote professional development

The full programme and registration details can be found at the Conference website