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Winners announced for 2016 awards - Saturday 23 July 2016

Shortlists announced for all awards, winner announced European Science Writer of the Year 2016

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.  

Due to membership feedback the ABSW has changed the entry guidelines in order to enable non British journalists writing for British audiences to enter the awards.   See entry guidelines for more.

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.

European Science Writer of the Year.  (£500)

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. 

The Dr Katharine Giles Award: to support media training for scientists. 
The Dr Katharine Giles Award will enable scientists who win in either the science blog award supported by Good Thinking or the best student science blog award to undertake a one day media skills training course run by the Royal Society.  The fund will only be available for scientists who are not professional journalists, if the winner of either category is a professional journalist or writer then the fund will be offered to runners-up who meet the criteria. Winners of the awards will be contacted in order to make arrangements for them to undertake the media skills course run by the Royal Society.   There is no obligation for winners to undertake the course.  
Best Student Science Blog Award Winner 2015 Matthew Warren on the media training undertaken with support of the Dr Katharine Giles Fund:
It was great to hear first-hand from a scientist (Maggie Aderin-Pocock) about how she became involved in the media and the strategies she uses. We performed a task in small groups where we had to explain our research to each other and write a press release about it - a great way to get thinking about how to clearly and succinctly explain scientific research.

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

Entry guidelines and entry form 2016

Entry guidelines and nomination forms European Science Writer of the Year

Previous winners



All queries regarding the awards should be directed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 


The 2011 Awards Ceremony in Photos Friday 8 July 2011 (Credit for all images: Fusion - Waterside Studio)



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