Sponsored by Janssen Research and Development
Record breaking year for ABSW Awards: 240 entries received - our previous record was 207 entries in 2015 - so thanks to everyone who has entered this year.
There are no new Awards in 2016 but the ABSW would like to welcome new support from the Dr Katharine Giles Fund for the Dr Katharine Giles Science Blog Award and the Dr Katharine Giles Award: to support media training for scientists.
Seema Kumar, Vice President, Enterprise Innovation and Global Health Communication, Johnson & Johnson explains why Janssen Research and Development sponsor good science writing.
About the Awards
The ABSW’s science writers' awards ran continuously from 1966 to 2007, with the support of a variety of sponsors. Over these years the awards became the "Oscars" of science writing, and served as a model for similar schemes all over the world. With support from Janssen Research and Development, the ABSW re-established the awards in 2010 and through Janssen's continued support the Awards are now secure into the future. The Royal Society, IOP publishing and the Institute of Physics, Good Thinking, NUJ/Stephen White Bequest, the Dr Katharine Giles Fund and Richard Gregory have also supported the Awards enabling additional categories and prize money.
The ABSW’s awards aim to reward excellence in science journalism and writing and are judged by a panel of highly credible and respected judges.
The ABSW awards for 2016 will be presented at an evening reception at the 3rd European Conference of Science Journalists in Manchester.
The 2016 Awards
In 2016 the following awards were open for entry (prize money is given in brackets):
The best feature (£500)
The best news item (£500)
The best scripted/edited television programme or online video (£500)
The Royal Society Radio Prize (£500) (NB: A prize for the best scripted/edited radio programme or podcast)
The best investigative journalism (£500)
The NUJ Stephen White Award for best communication and reporting of science in a non science context (£500).
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.
The best newcomer award (£200)
The Dr Katharine Giles science blog award (£500)
The best student science blog award (£200)
The IOP student science publication award (£300 winner/£200 runner up). Sponsored by IOP Publishing and the Institute of Physics.
Lifetime achievement awards are granted in some years by the ABSW Executive Board. There is no cash prize associated with this award.
This award is made through nominations from all European Science Journalism Associations. Each association is asked to put forward one nominee for this Award. The ABSW will ask its members for nominations in order to decide on the British nominee for this European Award.
After this we had a session run by the actress Victoria Pritchard, on voice and presentation skills. This is an element of communication you don't often learn about as a scientist, and in a short session I was definitely aware of having learned a lot about how to present myself in media interviews.
In the afternoon we practiced interviews in front of the camera and on the radio. This was the part that I was a little nervous about, but in the end I gained a lot from it - and actually quite enjoyed it! Maggie and Victoria stayed right through to the end - you don't often have the opportunity to get feedback on your performance from prominent media personalities.
So all in all, it was a great day and I gained a lot out of it. I wouldn't have been there without the Dr Katharine Giles Fund and the ABSW, so thank you all very much for the support. It is fantastic that there are these opportunities for science communicators - and I think it is especially encouraging for students, who (and I'm speaking from experience) can gain a lot from the awards and events that you put on when just starting off in their careers!
2016 Contest Year
All entries must have been first published or broadcast between 1 January 2015 and 31 December 2015 inclusive.
Links to key information
The 2011 Awards Ceremony in Photos Friday 8 July 2011 (Credit for all images: Fusion - Waterside Studio)