Summer School

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)

Best feature

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

Supporting work: One Two Three

Akshat Rathi, reporter at Quartz

Supporting work: One Two Three

Inga Vesper, freelance reporter

Supporting work: One Two Three

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).

Read more on the rules and regulations for the Awards and the judges.

For further information contact:

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