News and Events

It’s now almost six months since the death of Mike Hanlon, a superb science journalist and friend to many of us.

As you may know, Mike had all but given up science journalism to pursue Jurassica. This project will recreate, in a disused Dorset quarry, the lost world of the Jurassic. The scheme is backed by David Attenborough, the local community and has received some local and national funding. I am one of the trustees.

A few days after Mike’s death, the trustees decided to continue the project. A decision we made with our heads as much as our hearts. It is an incredible vision, which I have been privileged to have been involved with since Mike pitched it to me in a Greenwich pub.

Over the last six months, Jurassica has moved forward to a key stage and we are ready to start preparing the planning application. With this and major fundraising under preparation, Jurassica needs to keep its core team going to the end of the year.

To help raise the £55,000 needed to get the project to this key stage, we have set up a memorial fund in Mike’s memory. This enables people to make smaller donations than we are otherwise seeking.

As we all know, Mike's fascination with the prehistoric came from his childhood, discovering fossils on the Dorset coast. The trustees plan to set up educational visits for youngsters to the Isle of Portland so that they can be similarly enthused and inspired. Once we have secured the core team and planning permission, we intend to start work on establishing this. Donations to the fund will then be invested in these future generations of prehistory enthusiasts.

If you would like to contribute to Jurassica’s Michael Hanlon Memorial Fund, please go to:

http://jurassica.org/more-info/

Do get in touch if you have any queries.

Thanks

Richard Hollingham
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

And the winners are…..

European Science Writer of the Year 2016

Winner: Spanish Science Writer of the Year, Michele Catanzaro, a freelance science journalist nominated by Asociacion Española de Comunicacion Cientifica, AECC (Spanish Association of Scientific Communication) & Associació Catalana de Comunicació Científica - ACCC (Catalan Association for Science Communication, Spain)

Highly Commended: French Science Writer of the Year, Stéphane Foucart, a Journalist for the daily French newspaper Le Monde nominated by Association des journalistes scientifiques de la presse d'information

Other Country nominees (each nominee becomes science writer of the year in their nominating country)

Austrian Science Writer of the Year – Elisabeth Schneyder, freelance, nominated by the Austrian Association of Education and Science Journalists

Danish Science Writer of the Year – Jens Ramskov, Journalist at Ingeniøren, nominated by the Danish Science Journalists Association

Dutch Science Writer of the Year – Aliette Jonkers, freelance, nominated by VWN, the Dutch national association for science journalism and communication

Estonian Science Writer of the Year – Arko Olesk, freelance, nominated by the Estonian Association of Science Journalists

Greek Science Writer of the Year – Spiros Kitsinelis, science communicator, nominated by Science View (Greece)

Irish Science Writer of the Year – Claire O’Connell, freelance, nominated by the Irish Science & Technology Journalists' Association (ISTJA)

Serbian Science Writer of the Year – Slobodan Bubnjevic, Editor-in-chief, ELEMENTI, nominated by Mreza Naucnih Novinara, Serbia (The Science Journalist Network)

UK Science Writer of the Year – Steve Connor, freelance (former science editor the Independent), nominated by the Association of British Science Writers

ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2016 – shortlists in all categories (links to winning pieces are provided where available)

Best feature

Natasha Loder, The age of the red pen: It is now easy to edit the genomes of plants, animals and humans, published in the Economist, 22/08/2015

Best news item

Michael Le Page, Earth now halfway to warming limit, published in New Scientist, 01/08/2015

Best scripted/edited television programme or online video

Joint Winners

Team entry: BBC Science Series Editor: Steve Crabtree. Series Producer: Paul King. Producer and Director: Peter Leonard. Researcher: Claudia Woolston.  Horizon - OCD: A monster in my mind. First broadcast BBC Two 26/08/2015

Team entry: Director: Thom Hoffman. Producer: Lizzie Crouch. Animator: Patrick Koduah. Animator: Victor Opeyokun. Malaria: How can changing the built environment reduce cases? First broadcast Health Check on BBC World News TV 11/05/2015

The Royal Society Radio Prize (NB: A prize for the best scripted/edited radio programme or podcast, supported by The Royal Society):

Team: Writer and presenter: James Piercy. Producer: Toby Murcott. My Head. Pier Production for BBC Radio 4 and World Service. First broadcast 06/05/20

Best investigative journalism

Team entry: Maria Cheng & Raphael Satter. Botching Ebola, published by Associated Press, 20/03/2015

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.

Jennie Agg. Inside the metabolism room published in the Good Health section, Daily Mail 29/12/2015

Best newcomer

Faye Kirkland, Freelance

Best student science blog

Sophie McManus, University of Cambridge. Women in Science - A Call to Arms. Biodetectives 09/03/2015

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.

Alex Bellos, Alex Bellos's Adventures in Numberland, The Guardian

The IOP student science publication award supported by IOP Publishing and the Institute of Physics

Winner

TheGIST- The Glasgow Insight into Science and Technology, University of Glasgow/University of Strathclyde

Runner-up

The Young Scientists Journal, Herts and Essex High School

Lifetime Achievement Award 2016

Deborah Cohen, Editor BBC Radio Science Unit

                                                                                              

Earlier this year the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters wrote to the ABSW to offer a travel scholarship to a British science journalist to visit Oslo for the Abel Prize.   After calling for applications to from our members, ABSW member Tim Revell was selected and awarded the scholarship.

Tim had a great experience, made many new contacts, and whilst in Oslo produced a radio piece for the Naked Scientists, which was broadcast on BBC 5Live, Talk Radio Europe, and on RN in Australia, NZ, and South Africa, as well as being downloadable as a podcast here:
http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/interviews/interview/1001867/

Here is Tim's report:

On 24th May Sir Andrew Wiles was awarded the Abel Prize for "his stunning proof of Fermat's Last Theorem”, and thanks to a scholarship from the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, I was able to attend the ceremony.

The story begins 350 years ago, when French mathematician Pierre de Fermat was working through his favourite maths book. He came across a problem that made him start to thinking about square numbers and how to split them up. For example, 25 is a square number because it is 5 × 5. But 25 can also be split up into to two smaller square numbers, 16, which is 4 squared, and 9 which is 3 squared, that when added together give back 25.

52 = 42 + 32

Carrying on this thought, Fermat wondered if cube numbers could be split into two cubes, or fourth powers split into two other fourth powers, but he could never find an example. Instead he declared that for any power higher than squares this type of number split was impossible.

Fermat’s Last Theorem
zn ≠ yn + xn, for n ≥ 3

But then Fermat died. His proof was never found and over the years proved pretty difficult to reconstruct. It took over three centuries and thousands of different attempts, but in 1994 after working in complete solitude for seven years, Wiles was able to finally prove the theorem.

Since then Wiles has become probably the world’s most famous (living) mathematician. He’s won all sorts of prizes for his work and now he has an Abel prize, along with a £500k cheque, for his trophy cabinet as well.

Sir Andrew Wiles' story has been a source of inspiration for many mathematicians including myself and so getting the opportunity to meet him at the ceremony was a boyhood dream fulfilled. Whilst in Oslo I was able to interview Wiles for a Naked Scientists radio piece, which you can listen to here: http://www.thenakedscientists.com/HTML/interviews/interview/1001867/

For further opportunities for ABSW members do ensure you sign up to ABSW-L (our google group - email discussion group) as this is the first place that we announce jobs/scholarships and other opportunities to our members.

 

Shortlist Announced ABSW Science Writers' Awards for Great Britain and Ireland 2016

Winner announced European Science Writer of the Year 2016

The judging panel has met and decided the shortlists for the Association of British Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2016, and the winner of the European Science Writer of the Year Award 2016.   Martin Ince, Chair of the Judging Panel and President of the ABSW said: “Our awards go from strength to strength and this year we had the largest number of entries to date.  The European Science Writer of the Year, now in its second year, has revealed a wealth of talent across Europe and has strengthened links between the ABSW and our European colleagues.”

The winners of all categories will be announced at the ABSW Science Writers Awards Ceremony on 23rd July at Jodrell Bank, following the 3rd European Conference of Science Journalists.  The European Award and all other ABSW Awards are supported by Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.

European Science Writer of the Year 2016

Winner: Spanish Science Writer of the Year, Michele Catanzaro, a freelance science journalist nominated by Asociacion Española de Comunicacion Cientifica, AECC (Spanish Association of Scientific Communication) & Associació Catalana de Comunicació Científica - ACCC (Catalan Association for Science Communication, Spain)

Highly Commended: French Science Writer of the Year, Stéphane Foucart, a Journalist for the daily French newspaper Le Monde nominated by Association des journalistes scientifiques de la presse d'information

Other Country nominees (each nominee becomes science writer of the year in their nominating country)

Austrian Science Writer of the Year – Elisabeth Schneyder, freelance, nominated by the Austrian Association of Education and Science Journalists

Danish Science Writer of the Year – Jens Ramskov, Journalist at Ingeniøren, nominated by the Danish Science Journalists Association

Dutch Science Writer of the Year – Aliette Jonkers, freelance, nominated by VWN, the Dutch national association for science journalism and communication

Estonian Science Writer of the Year – Arko Olesk, freelance, nominated by the Estonian Association of Science Journalists

Greek Science Writer of the Year – Spiros Kitsinelis, science communicator, nominated by Science View (Greece)

Irish Science Writer of the Year – Claire O’Connell, freelance, nominated by the Irish Science & Technology Journalists' Association (ISTJA)

Serbian Science Writer of the Year – Slobodan Bubnjevic, Editor-in-chief, ELEMENTI, nominated by Mreza Naucnih Novinara, Serbia (The Science Journalist Network)

UK Science Writer of the Year – Steve Connor, freelance (former science editor the Independent), nominated by the Association of British Science Writers

 

ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2016 – shortlists in all categories (links to shortlisted pieces are provided where available)

Best feature

Erika Check Hayden, Ebola's lasting legacy, published in Nature, 05/03/2015

Suzanne Goldenberg, The doomsday vault: the seeds that could save a post-apocalyptic world, published in The Guardian, 20/05/2015

Natasha Loder, The age of the red pen: It is now easy to edit the genomes of plants, animals and humans, published in the Economist, 22/08/2015

Best news item

Daniel Clery, Dark horse scores a fusion coup, published in Science magazine, 28/08/2015

Steve Connor, Britain to Genetically Modify Human Embryos, the Independent,      18/09/2015

Michael Le Page, Earth now halfway to warming limit, published in New Scientist, 01/08/2015

Best scripted/edited television programme or online video

Team entry: Producer/Director: Tim Usborne. Executive Producer: Jane Aldous. Executive Producer: Mark Tattersall. Assistant Producer: James Sandy. Britain's Nuclear Secrets: Inside Sellafield. First broadcast BBC Four 10/08/2015

Team entry: BBC Science Series Editor: Steve Crabtree. Series Producer: Paul King. Producer and Director: Peter Leonard. Researcher: Claudia Woolston.  Horizon - OCD: A monster in my mind. First broadcast BBC Two 26/08/2015

Team entry: Director: Thom Hoffman. Producer: Lizzie Crouch. Animator: Patrick Koduah. Animator: Victor Opeyokun. Malaria: How can changing the built environment reduce cases? First broadcast Health Check on BBC World News TV 11/05/2015

The Royal Society Radio Prize (NB: A prize for the best scripted/edited radio programme or podcast, supported by The Royal Society):

Kerri Smith. Music and the making of science. Nature Podcast. First broadcast 12/03/2015

Team: Writer and presenter: James Piercy. Producer: Toby Murcott. My Head. Pier Production for BBC Radio 4 and World Service. First broadcast 06/05/2015

Team:  Research, Production & Script Writing:  Max Sanderson. Production, Script Writing, and Sound Design: Hana Walker-Brown. Research, Script Writing, and Presenting:  Dr Michael Brooks. Presenting: Rick Edwards. Science(ish). A podcast produced in-house for the online and app-based platform Radio Wolfgang. First broadcast  03/12/2015

Best investigative journalism

Damian Carrington. Revealed: the flood defences missing after government cuts, published in the Guardian 08/12/2015

Team entry: Maria Cheng & Raphael Satter. Botching Ebola, published by Associated Press, 20/03/2015

Faye Kirkland. Vitamin and mineral infusions, first broadcast on BBC 5 Live 04/01/2015

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.

Jennie Agg. Inside the metabolism room published in the Good Health section, Daily Mail 29/12/2015

Philip Ball. The God quest: why humans long for immortality, published in New Statesman 30/07/2015

Max Glaskin. What's Stopping You? Published in Bikes Etc magazine 02/11/2015

Best newcomer

Alex O'Brien, Freelance

Faye Kirkland, Freelance

Dalmeet Singh Chawla,  Retraction Watch, formerly freelance

Best student science blog

James Iremonger, Heriot-Watt University. Labyrinthula: navigating the maze. James Iremonger’s blog 16/08/2015

Sophie McManus, University of Cambridge. Women in Science - A Call to Arms. Biodetectives 09/03/2015

Thomas Webb, University of Paul Sabatier & University of Reading. What is the biggest air pollution event in the modern era? EGU blogging platform 24/06/2015

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.

Philip Ball, Prospect blog, Prospect

Alex Bellos, Alex Bellos's Adventures in Numberland, The Guardian

Barbara Kiser, A View from the Bridge: Nature's Books and Arts blog, Nature

The IOP student science publication award supported by IOP Publishing and the Institute of Physics

Explorathon 2015, University of Aberdeen

TheGIST- The Glasgow Insight into Science and Technology, University of Glasgow/University of Strathclyde

The Young Scientists Journal, Herts and Essex High School

Lifetime Achievement Award 2016

There is no shortlist for this category and the award winner will be announced at the ceremony

The ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2016 attracted nearly 250 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).

About Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson

At the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson, we are working to create a world without disease. Transforming lives by finding new and better ways to prevent, intercept, treat and cure disease inspires us. We bring together the best minds and pursue the most promising science. We are Janssen. We collaborate with the world for the health of everyone in it. Learn more at www.janssen.com. Follow us at @JanssenGlobal.

About IOP Publishing

IOP Publishing provides publications through which leading-edge scientific research is distributed worldwide. IOP Publishing is central to the Institute of Physics, a not-for-profit society. Any financial surplus earned by IOP Publishing goes to support science through the activities of the Institute. Go to ioppublishing.org or follow us @IOPPublishing.

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 physicists, working together to advance physics education, research and application.

We engage with policymakers and the general public to develop awareness and understanding of the value of physics and, through IOP Publishing, we are world leaders in professional scientific communications.

Follow the Institute of Physics at @PhysicsNews for more information about our publication and news from IOP.

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 http://royalsociety.org Follow the Royal Society on Twitter at http://twitter.com/royalsociety or on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/theroyalsociety

3rd European Conference of Science Journalists

The 3rd European Conference of Science Journalists (ECSJ) will be held as a satellite event at EuroScience Open Forum (ESOF).   The Conference jointly organized by the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) and the European Union of Science Journalist Associations (EUSJA), replaces the ABSW’s biennial UK Conference of Science Journalists, extending its reach to journalists throughout Europe.

For further information: http://www.absw.org.uk/news-and-events/events/3rd-european-conference-of-science-journalists

 

The ABSW Annual General Meeting and social will take place on Thursday 7 April 18:30 for 19:00 start upstairs at The Lamb, 94 Lamb's Conduit St, London, WC1N 3LZ.   In accordance with the ABSW Standing Orders the Agenda is published here three weeks in advance of the meeting.

If you have any questions or queries about the AGM please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..   To attend the AGM please RSVP

 

ABSW AGM AGENDA

Date and time: Thu 7 April 2016 18:30 for 19:00 start
Venue: The Lamb, 94 Lamb's Conduit St, London, WC1N 3LZ (upstairs room and bar)

Drinks and buffet provided

Invited: All ABSW members

NB: Only full and life members may vote. Quorum for the meeting is 10 voting members

1 Apologies for Absence

2 Minutes of the Last ABSW AGM held on 26 March 2015

3 Matters Arising

4 President’s Report
Martin Ince

5 Treasurer’s Report
Victoria Parsons

Statutory accounts prepared by ABSW accountants: Bowyer Pounds Ltd

Profit and loss comparison 2014/2015

Committee Expenses and Payments 2015

Proposed budget 2016

6 Auditors’ Report
Pete Wrobel/Michael Kenward

Auditors Report

7 Proposed Amendments to the ABSW Standing Orders

Martin Ince

After consultation with ABSW members the Executive Board is proposing the following changes to the ABSW Standing Orders to simplify disciplinary procedures and remove the role of honorary president.

Disciplinary procedures

Delete all existing text in Standing Order 16 and replace with:

16 Disciplinary Procedure
At its sole discretion, the board may, by a simple majority vote, expel any member whose behaviour has in its opinion brought the ABSW into serious disrepute; it will account to the next AGM for its action. The decision will be duly recorded in the Executive Board and AGM Minutes. Any member so expelled will have the right to appeal the decision at the next AGM.

Amendments to remove post of honorary president

Amend standing order 2:

2. ABSW members entitled to vote are Life Members, and Full Members who have paid the correct subscription within the previous 18 months, and the Honorary President. Student, Associate and Corporate members may not vote.

Amend standing order 9:

Membership
9. The ABSW will have the following categories of member. All new members must be approved by the Executive Board.
Honorary President

The AGM shall appoint a President of the Association, who will hold office for a period of three years. The Honorary President can be re-appointed for further terms of three years.
The rest of this standing order remains

Amend standing order 10:
Subscription
10. The subscription for each category of membership shall be determined annually by the Executive Board. The Board has the power to waive subscriptions. The Honorary President and Life Members will not pay a subscription.

Action: The AGM are asked to approve these amendments to the standing orders.

8 Election of Executive Board
Martin Ince

All posts on the Executive Board are elected annually at the AGM. This is the third year in which the Board has run its election process on line. In accordance with the Standing Orders nominations opened on 25 January 2016 and closed on 22 February 2016. The following individuals stood for election:

Martin Ince – President
Mico Tatalovic – Vice President
Connie St Louis – European Representative
Aisling Irwin - Secretary
Wendy Grossman/Katharine Sanderson/Victoria Parsons/Jack Serle/Lou del Bello/Cristina Gallardo/Emma Stoye – general post on the Board (7 maximum available)

View the candidates statements

There are therefore no contested posts and no candidates for Treasurer. There is no specific guidance in the Standing Orders on procedure where posts are not contested or no nominations received. The Executive Board agreed the following procedure and this was approved by the appointed election tellers (Andy Coughlan/John Bonner)

Action Taken/Required:
Details of the nominations were placed on the ABSW website in mid-March and the AGM is now asked to ratify these individuals to comprise the new Executive Board. At the first meeting of the new Executive Board after this AGM the Board will consider co-opting individuals to cover vacant posts

The ABSW would like to express its thanks to Victoria Parsons for her previous work as Treasurer and to retiring Executive Board members Beki Hill – particularly for her role in organizing ABSW Events, and Joshua Howgego – particularly for his liaison work with the Ugandan Science Journalists’ Association with whom the ABSW is twinned.

9 Election of Auditors
Martin Ince

The AGM are asked to elect two auditors for 2016 (auditors may not be members of the Executive Board). Pete Wrobel and Michael Kenward acted as auditors in 2015 and have both indicated they can act in this role for a further year, however the posts are open to any full member of the ABSW.

Action: Ask if any members wish to stand as auditor for 2016, take a vote to decide who should be appointed to this role

10 Appointment of Life Members
Martin Ince

The ABSW Board has no nominations for Life Members in 2016

11 Date of Next AGM
March 2017

12 Any Other Business


 

 

 

 

 

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