Summer School

The winners of the Association of British Science Writers Awards for Britain and Ireland 2014 were announced at an Awards ceremony tonight (Wednesday 18 June).  Speaking at the ceremony Martin Ince, President of the ABSW, said; ‘It was wonderful to see so many colleagues both old and new at the ABSW Awards Ceremony this evening and to celebrate all that is great about British and Irish science journalism and writing.  Support from Janssen Research and Development enabled us to re-establish our Awards in 2010, and we now offer ten awards including new awards this year for blogging and for student science publications.  We are particularly pleased to see such good representation from Irish journalists in the shortlists and winners, as the support from Janssen R & D enabled us to extend our Awards to Ireland. 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. ’  
ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland - Winners
The best feature 
Winner:  Jessa Gamble, Researcher at Arup, for The End of Sleep? published by Aeon Magazine (online), 10-04-2013
Runners Up:
Stuart Clark, Freelance, for Ear on the Universe, published by New Scientist, 21-09-2013
Michael Le Page, Biology and environment editor at New Scientist, for The lowdown on the slowdown published by New Scientist, 07-12-2013
The best news item
Winner: Ian Sample, Science Correspondent, The Guardian, for US scientists boycott Nasa conference over China ban published by The Guardian, 05-10-2013
Runners Up:
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
The best scripted/edited television programme or online video:
Winner: 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.
Runners Up:
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
The Royal Society Radio Prize (NB: A prize for the best scripted/edited radio programme or podcast, supported by The Royal Society)
Winner: 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
Runners Up:
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: 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
The best investigative journalism
Winner: 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
Runners Up:
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
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. 
Winner: Christopher White, freelance, for The complete guide to DNA for family historians published by Your Family Tree Magazine, 27-03-2013
Runners Up:
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
The best newcomer award
Winner: Joanne O’Dea, Freelance
Runners Up:
Melissa Hogenboom, Assistant Producer/Science reporter BBC
Jennifer Whyntie, Assistant Producer, BBC
The Good Thinking student science blog award supported by Good Thinking (new award for 2014):
Winner: Sarah Hearne, PhD student, Department of Zoology, Trinity College Dublin, for Sea Serpents off the Port Bow! Published by, 01-11-2013
Runners Up:
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
The best science blog award (new award for 2014)
Joint winners:
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
Runner Up:
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) NB: This award provides prize money for a winner and a runner up
Winner: Women Rock Science (online publication). Editor, Hadiza Mohammed
Runner Up: theGIST, printed magazine (University of Strathclyde & University of Glasgow). Team Entry: Editors: Timothy Revell, Emilie Steinmark, Alan Boyd 
Shortlisted: 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)
Life Time Achievement Award
Lawrence McGinty, ITV News’ Science & Medical Editor
Lawrence is an award-winning journalist who has long-been viewed as an exemplar for science and health reporting, covering even the most controversial and difficult subjects in an informative, critical, entertaining and knowledgeable manner. The scientific community was saddened to learn he is retiring this year as he has truly had a profound impact, navigating his way through scientific milestones, international disasters, clinical trials, and a flood  of hyperbole, all the while promoting excellence not just in science journalism, but in journalism in general. Excerpt from the statement supporting Lawrence’s nomination.
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).
The Awards Ceremony took place at The Royal Society, London after the ABSW’s biennial conference the UK Conference of Science Journalists.
Full details of the rules and regulations for the awards and a full list of judges can be found at
For further information contact:
Sallie Robins – ABSW Awards Administrator
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
07733 330344
Notes for editors:  
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 and that promotes the highest standards of journalism and writing by encouraging investigation and creativity. @absw
Where permitted by the entrant and or publisher, copies of the shortlisted articles/broadcasts are available at 
About Janssen
At Janssen Research & Development, we are united and energized by one mission - to discover and develop innovative medicines that ease patient’s suffering, and solve the most important unmet medical needs of our time. 
As one of the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies, our strategy is to identify the biggest unmet medical needs and match them with the best science, internal or external, to find solutions for patients worldwide. We leverage our world-class discovery and development expertise, and operational excellence, to bring innovative, effective treatments in five therapeutic areas: 
• cardiovascular and metabolism 
• immunology 
• infectious diseases and vaccines 
• neuroscience 
• oncology 
We think of the world as our laboratory and we look for innovation wherever it exists. This drives our relentless search for the best science, and our pursuit of collaborations and partnerships. We believe there are no limits to what science can do. And we never lose sight of those who rely most on our discoveries.   
About the Institute of Physics –
The Institute of Physics is a leading scientific society. We are a charitable organisation with a worldwide membership of more than 50,000, working together to advance physics education, research and application. 
About IOP Publishing –
IOP Publishing is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Institute of Physics. It provides a range of journals, conference proceedings, magazines, websites, books and other services that enable researchers and research organisations to achieve the biggest impact for their work.
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
For further information please visit Follow the Royal Society on Twitter at or on Facebook at
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