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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Alex O'Brien, Freelance
Faye Kirkland, Freelance
Dalmeet Singh Chawla, Retraction Watch, formerly freelance
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
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
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
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:
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.
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
5 Treasurer’s Report
6 Auditors’ Report
Pete Wrobel/Michael Kenward
7 Proposed Amendments to the ABSW Standing Orders
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.
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:
9. The ABSW will have the following categories of member. All new members must be approved by the Executive Board.
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:
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
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)
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)
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
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
The ABSW Board has no nominations for Life Members in 2016
11 Date of Next AGM
12 Any Other Business
The following nominations have been received for the ABSW Executive Board Elections 2016. None of the posts are contested so the nominations will all be taken to the AGM (Thursday 7 April ) for approval. Full details of the ABSW's annual election process can be found on our website.
Martin Ince (currently ABSW President - seeking re-election)
I would very much like your support to take on my third and last full year as President. The ABSW has just completed the most extraordinary year of its existence, and has been subject to pressures far beyond those it is reasonable to place on a small organisation of this kind. I shall report fully on this sequence of events to the AGM. But despite these issues, we have succeeded in growing the association and in developing new activities such as Summer School, held for the first time during 2015. We have launched the European Science Journalist of the Year award, and will run it again as part of a steady process of enhancing our awards as a way of recognising great science writing. In addition, we have continued our joint working with the Ugandan Science Journalists' Association in ways that have benefited both organisations. In the coming year our European commitments will come to the fore with the arrival of ESOF in Manchester in July. Alongside this event, we are running the European Conference of Science Journalists, a joint venture with the European Union of Science Journalists' Associations. It's on July 23. As well as being an important meeting on the European stage, it will be the first major ABSW event to be held outside London. The message, I think, is that the current ABSW board is an effective, innovative and successful one. I'd very much like to continue to serve you all as president, in the hope that this record of shared achievement can be developed yet further. * In my working life as a writer and commentator on science and higher education, I am just starting work on Drift, a book on Earth history. So consider your Christmas present problems solved for 2017.
Nominated by Wendy Barnaby & Aisling Irwin
Mico Tatalovic (currently ABSW Vice-President - seeking re-election)
I have been on the ABSW committee for a few years now, most recently as vice-president, a role I would like to stay in for another year. It’s an exciting time. We are organising a growing number of events and awards, and our international standing is also on the rise. We’ve started a very popular summer school which we hope to continue as a regular event. I played a key role in initiating and organising that school, and pushing for it to become a regular event. I have also helped set up an online mentorship programme for our student/early career members. Our next UKCSJ is going to be in Manchester to coincide with ESOF, a major European science event. As such the UKCSJ is extending its reach to become a European Conference for Science Journalists, where we hope to exchange experiences and skills with our colleagues from across Europe. I am now busy working with the programme committee to make the sessions as relevant and exciting as possible. It promises to be the best ECSJ so far. We have also launched a new award for the Best European Science Writer of the Year, which we hope to continue. Both of these show our growing role on the international stage and as EUSJA is going through reforms and a new body EFSJ starts to take shape, we will no doubt be in a position to influence and improve the state of science writing not just in the UK, but also in Europe. I hope to enable ABSW to get the most out of such involvement, and out of its twinned association in Uganda. Indeed, I have helped keep on the agenda our role in twinning with USJA and how we can ensure that twinning benefits all parties. Another thing to do in the coming year will be to finally redesign our controversial logo, which seems to be disliked by many. So, if I get reelected, I hope to help organise the best UKSCJ so far; work towards an even better summer school for next year; push for the best possible deal with our membership in the two Europe-wide science journalism bodies; help keep improving our regular events – along the lines of the one we held in September on ‘New science journalism – reporting beyond the traditional media’; and get more support for investigative science journalism.
Nominated by Martin Ince & Wendy Grossman
We are nearing the end of perhaps the ABSW’s most memorable year since it was set up in 1947. This to bring you up to date after our board meeting of November 24.
The Dr Katharine Giles Award aims to improve scientists’ media skills, encouraging scientists to speak to journalists and in so doing improve science reporting within the UK.
Dr Katharine Giles
As stated in our previous post we have accepted with regret Sir Colin Blakemore’s resignation as honorary president of the ABSW, with thanks for his support and assistance over the years.
A statement from the honorary president was requested by the ABSW board.
In the light of the Observer article of October 11, the board of the ABSW wishes to point out that the Association’s Standing Order 16 (published on this web site under About Us, Memorandum, Articles and Standing Orders) sets out the procedure for making a complaint about a member of the ABSW. It has not received the notification needed to start a case under this process, which involves a formal complaint in writing, but will of course act upon any such complaint it may receive.
We have accepted with regret Sir Colin Blakemore’s resignation as honorary president of the ABSW, with thanks for his support and assistance over the years. He has made it clear that he disagrees irreconcilably with the statement we issued in June about media attacks on our former president, Connie St Louis.
As anyone looking at this web site knows already, this relates to her reporting of remarks to the Korea Federation of Women’s Science and Technology Associations by Sir Tim Hunt at the World Conference of Science Journalists in Seoul on June 8. Sir Tim has not disputed the accuracy of St Louis’s reporting and has apologised to the Federation for his comments. Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, is on record as saying that Sir Tim’s comments were unacceptable.
The World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) of which the ABSW is a member has published their September Newsletter.
The WFSJ website has recently undergone a complete re-vamp so drop by to see all the resources and news available.