ABSW News

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.

Download the Newsletter for all the latest news or access the newsletter via their website.

The WFSJ website has recently undergone a complete re-vamp so drop by to see all the resources and news available.

The Board of the ABSW gives its full support to former President and current Board member Connie St Louis, Director of the MA in Science Journalism at City University London.
 
Connie St Louis has been the subject of online abuse and of attempts to discredit her professionally, simply for pursuing a story that she thought correctly was interesting and important.
  
The comments tweeted by Connie St Louis highlight the issue of sexism in science and the frustration that many feel at the slow progress being made to address it.  The reaction has included the #distractinglysexy campaign which has drawn attention to women scientists as intelligent, funny and clever women and great career models.  
However, this positive development has been overtaken by a media furore directed at Connie for the everyday act of reporting a news story. As an organisation of science writers which fosters excellence in journalism, we are deeply disturbed by this behaviour.
 
The ABSW would like to see a healthy debate on the issue of sexism in science, and has commissioned research on sexism in science journalism. Its members recognise that they have a role to play in the way they portray women scientists.  
 
Journalists need to be free to carry out their jobs without fear of personal attack. The ABSW Board is proud to support Connie, as it will support any of its members who may find themselves subject to such abuse in future.
 
City University has now issued a statement, along with a statement from Connie St Louis:
 
 
Yesterday's blog by Professor Uta Frith, Chair of the Royal Society Diversity Committee, soundly refocuses attention on the issue of sexism in science:
 
 
UCL has also released a strong statement regarding its commitment to equality for women in science:
 
 
 

Winners Announced in the 2015 Science Journalism Awards – hat-trick for Ian Sample of The Guardian in news

The winners of the Association of British Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2015, supported by Janssen Research and Development were announced at an Awards Ceremony held in London tonight (Thursday 25 June 2015).   Ian Sample of the Guardian scored a hat-trick by winning in the news category for the third year in a row.

Best feature  

Ewen Callaway, Tales of the Hobbit, published in Nature, 22-10-2014

Best news item

Ian Sample, Revealed: 100 safety breaches at UK labs handling potentially deadly diseases, published inThe Guardian, 04-12-2014.

Best scripted/edited television programme or online video

Team Entry: Executive Producer: Jonathan Renouf. Producer Director: Nathan Williams. Presenter: Michael Mosley. Researcher: Shamini Bundell. Infested! Living with parasites, A BBC Science Production, London for BBC Four. First broadcast 19-02-2014

Highly commended as a short film: Team entry:Director/Editor:Charlotte Stoddart. Reporter/Narrator:Lizzie Gibney. Laniakea:  Our home supercluster, Nature.com andthe Nature Video Channel on YouTube. First broadcast 03-09-2014

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

Team entry:Performer, Writer/researcher: Helen Keen. Writer/researcher:Miriam Underhill. Performer:Peter Serafinowicz. Producer:Gareth Edwards, It is Rocket Science (Life on Mars, Series 3 Episode 1), BBC Radio 4. First broadcast 02-04-2014

Best investigative journalism

Alexander Masters, A Plutocratic Proposal, published in Mosaic, the e-magazine for the Wellcome Trust, 27-10-2014

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 died in 2010.   The Award is possible due to a donation from Stephen’s widow Elizabeth.

Team entry: Devised byJames Gallagher and Rachael Buchanan with additional reporting across BBC News, BBC Day of the Body Clock, published and broadcast on all BBC News platforms, 13-05-2014

Best newcomer

Maria Delaney, Freelance

Best student science blog

Matthew Warren, University of Oxford. Won’t somebody please think of the children? Technology and the adolescent brain, Neurobabble, 02-06-2014

Science blog award supported by Good Thinking

Kat Day, The Chronicle Flask,the Chronicle Flask

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

Winner: Broadsheet, Imperial College – Editor-in-Chief: Ben Stockton, Sub Editors: Sophie Reid and Fiona Mashford

Runner Up: I, Science, Imperial College – Co-Editors in Chief: Jennifer Toes and Iona Twaddell and Magazine Editor: Kruti Shrotri

The winners of the first European Science Writer of the Year Award were announced earlier in June and both Tanja Rudez of Croatia and Jop de Vrieze of the Netherlands travelled to London to receive their Awards.

European Science Writer of the Year 2015

Winner: Tanja Rudez, science reporter at Jutarnji List daily, Croatia  – nominated by the Croatian Association of Science Journalists

Second: Jop De Vrieze, freelance journalist, The Netherlands – nominated by VWN (Dutch Association of Science Journalists)

Third: Ewen Callaway, senior reporter, Nature, UK – nominated by the Association of British Science Writers

The ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2015 attracted over 200 entries.  An independent panel of science journalists and science communicators judged the entries on originality, appeal to a broad audience, novelty of subject matter, likely impact, style, content, entertainment, balance and depth of reporting.

Award winners received 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).

Full details of the winners, those shortlisted, the rules and regulations for the awards, copies of articles where available, and a full list of judges can be found at http://www.absw.org.uk/jobs-awards/awards

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 that promotes the highest standards of journalism and writing by encouraging investigation and creativity.   www.absw.org.uk @absw https://www.facebook.com/pages/Association-of-British-Science-Writers-ABSW/

Copies of the shortlisted articles/broadcasts are available on request and/or linked from the ABSW website where possible

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. www.janssenrnd.com

IOP Publishing

IOP Publishing provides publications through which leading-edge scientific research is distributed worldwide. 

Beyond our traditional journals programme, we make high-value scientific information easily accessible through an ever-evolving portfolio of books, community websites, magazines, conference proceedings and a multitude of electronic services.

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, 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.

In September 2013, we launched our first fundraising campaign. Our campaign, Opportunity Physics, offers you the chance to support the work that we do.

Visit us at www.iop.org or follow us on Twitter @physicsnews.

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

Good Thinking Society (http://goodthinkingsociety.org)

Good Thinking Society is a charity founded by Simon Singh, aimed at promoting science and challenging pseudoscience.  Its motto is: “Encouraging curious minds and promoting rational enquiry”.

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