Shortlists announced for the 2018 ABSW Awards
The judging panel has met and decided the shortlists for the Association of British Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2018 supported by Johnson & Johnson Innovation. Mico Tatalovic, Chair of the Judging Panel, and the ABSW said: “This year was a record breaking year for the Awards with 300 entries, competition was tough in many categories showing that science journalism is still thriving within the UK and Ireland”.
The winners of all categories will be announced at the ABSW Science Writers Awards Ceremony on Wednesday 18 May, at the Royal Society, London.
ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2018 (links to winning pieces are provided where available)
Alison Abbott for “Venice gets a time machine” published in Nature
Heidi Ledford for “Cancer's cruel chimeras” published in Nature
Shayla Love for “Meet the dogs with OCD: Could understanding canine compulsions help find new treatments for people with obsessive–compulsive disorders too?” published in Mosaic
Alexandra Witze for “Next stop, Mars” published in Nature
Best news item
Alison Abbott for “Italy rebuked in olive fiasco” published in Nature
Team: Reporter - James Gallagher, Producer - Nicki Stiastny for “Huntington’s breakthrough may stop disease” broadcast on BBC News At Ten
Emma Stoye for “Material lessons from Grenfell” published in Chemistry World
Best scripted/edited television programme or online video
Team: Series Editor - Steve Crabtree, Series Producer - Rob Liddell, Producer/Director - Toby Macdonald, Assistant Producer - Victoria Weaver for “Horizon: Goodbye Cassini - Hello Saturn” a BBC Studios for BBC2 and Discovery Science Channel production, broadcast on BBC 2
Team: Producer & Presenter – Victoria Gill, Cameraman and editor - David Cheeseman for “Songbirds for sale” a BBC news production broadcast on BBC News Channel and BBC World News Channel
Team: Editor - Rami Tzabar, Producer - Jennifer Green, Producer - Louisa Field, Filming/editing - Anand Jagatia for “Are edible caterpillars the future of sustainable protein?” film made in conjunction with CrowdScience, a BBC World Service science radio programme and broadcast on BBC online
The Royal Society Radio Prize (NB: A prize for the best scripted/edited radio programme or podcast, supported by The Royal Society)
Team: Presenters - Michael Brooks & Rick Edwards, Producers - Max Sanderson & Cormac McAuliffe for “Science(ish): The Matrix” broadcast as Science(ish) podcast
Team: Producer - Cathy Edwards, Presenter Nastaran Tavakoli-Far for “CrowdScience: Do we think in words?” broadcast on the BBC World Service
Richard Hollingham for “Space 1977” a Boffin Media production broadcast on the BBC World Service
Team: Producer - Michelle Martin, Presenter - Frank Swain for “Meet the Cyborgs” broadcast on BBC Radio 4
Best investigative journalism
Team: Damian Carrington, Dan Morrison & Chris Tyree for “Plastic fibres found in tap water around the world, study reveals” published by The Guardian
David Cyranoski for “The Secret War Against Counterfeit Science” published by Nature
Hannah Devlin for “NHS data reveals ‘scandal’ of vaginal mesh removal rate” published by The Guardian
Kate Kelland for “Cancer agency left in the dark over glyphosate evidence” published by Reuters
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.
Kat Arney for “Algorithm's gonna get you” published by Times Educational Supplement
Lois Parshley for “Faultlines, black holes and glaciers: mapping uncharted territories” published by The Guardian
Peter Schwartzstein for “How Climate Change and Water Woes Drove ISIS Recruiting in Iraq” published by National Geographic
Best newcomer award
Eleni Courea, Reporter, Research Fortnight
Rory Galloway, Freelance
Chris Simms, Senior subeditor, New Scientist
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.
Richard Berks for The Geekfather
Andy Brunning for Compound Interest
Sam Illingworth for The Poetry of Science
Best student science journalist
Katie Ember, University of Edinburgh for “Cosmic Heartbeats: the discovery of pulsars” published by EUSci (Edinburgh University's science magazine)
Mariam Khattab, University of Sunderland for “Earth's underwater sand dunes help explain Venus's weird surface” published by New Scientist
Bonnie Nicholson, University of Edinburgh for “Smart cities: how smart is safe?” published by EUSci (Edinburgh University's science magazine)
British Science Writer of the Year & entrant to European Science Writer of the Year
Hal Hodson, technology correspondent at The Economist
Richard Hollingham, Boffin Media
Akshat Rathi, reporter at Quartz
Inga Vesper, freelance reporter
Champion of science award
There is no shortlist for this award, and it will be awarded at the Awards Ceremony to one of the above shortlisted candidates for providing real insight into the life and work of scientists.
Lifetime achievement award 2018
There is no shortlist for this category and the award winner will be announced at the “Scientists meet the media” reception immediately after the Awards ceremony.
An independent panel of science journalists and science communicators judged the entries for the ABSW awards 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).
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