ABSW Key News/Dates
European Science Writer of the Year open to European Journalism Association nominations 1 January 2018
ASBW panel event: How to write a successful science book - 22 February 2017 - London
ABSW AGM - Wednesday 28 March 2018 - Wellcome Trust, London
ABSW Awards Ceremony - Wednesday 16 May 2018 - The Royal Society, London
UKCSJ18 - Tuesday 16 October 2018 - The Francis Crick Institute, London
ABSW Awards 2018
The ABSW Science Writers' Awards for Great Britain and Ireland - record breaking 300 entries this year
European Science Writer of the Year open to European Journalism Association Nominations until 28 February 2018
ABSW Awards Ceremony - 18:00 Wednesday 16 May 2018 - The Royal Society, London
The awards are supported by Johnson & Johnson Innovation
Outside the Research Lab Volume 1: Physics in the arts, architecture, and design by Sharon Ann Holgate
Published by Morgan & Claypool as part of IOP Concise Physics, 2017
This book is a testament to the fact that the physics taught to high school and university students IS used in the real world. It is a fascinating insight into the use of physics and technology in the arts, architecture, and design. Outside the Research Lab is a path to discovering how professionals from different sectors – including sculpture, music, TV sound recording, and shoe design – use physics to help them in their work. Stunning images throughout the book and clear, understandable writing are supplemented by offset detail boxes which take the physics concepts to higher levels.
Report by ABSW board member Andy Extance
Following a letter signed by the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW) and other organisations, the UK government has clarified that ‘purdah’ rules should not restrict commentary from university academics.
The clarification follows a notice from Research Councils UK that it must ‘avoid competition with parliamentary candidates for the attention of the public’ in the run-up to the country’s election on June 8. The same notice also advises scientists not to highlight their research council funding and to delay publishing press releases about research-council funded work until after the election.
Science journalists have found that these and other instructions have had an unduly chilling effect. The letter, written by the Science Media Centre, highlights several examples where scientists had inappropriately declined to talk to the media. Those examples include subjects such as a new study on climate change, the current UK drought, and the government’s draft air quality plan.
Winners announced ABSW Science Writers' Awards for Great Britain and Ireland
The winners of the 2017 Association of British Science Writers’ (ABSW) Awards for Great Britain and Ireland were announced at an Awards Ceremony tonight (Thursday 25 May) in London.
Two hundred and twenty-eight entries were considered by the independent panel of science journalists and science communicators who 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.
The evening was hosted by Pallab Ghosh, Honorary President of the ABSW, and Science Correspondent at the BBC. Aoife Pauley, Head of Corporate Media, EMEA, presented the Awards on behalf of Johnson & Johnson Innovation, the Award sponsors.
Hester van Santen, a science journalist for NRC media in the Netherlands has won this year's European Science Writer of the Year Award.
Hester was chosen from the fifteen nominees from throughout Europe and will attend the ABSW Awards Ceremony in London next week (Thu 25 May) to collect her certificate and cash prize.
On announcing the award the judging panel said:
"In her submission, Hester has demonstrated her ability to be at ease with both popular science formats and more investigative type pieces. Her work is remarkably well researched regardless of the format or audience targeted and is full of creativity with a great range of interviews. Hester's best submission is undoubtedly the article about peer review, which represents a great case study of a big problem affecting science."
Candidate's were assessed on three pieces of work and all were nominated by organisations representing science journalists and writers from throughout Europe. Hester was nominated by VWN the Dutch association for science journalism and communication.
Among engineers, it is conventional wisdom that engineering is badly served by broadcasters and the press: especially when its coverage is compared to that of science and medicine. This, it is said, contributes to the shortage of young engineering talent coming through the UK system. At this panel discussion, organised by UCL and the Association of British Science Writers, we will focus on how the media works, why engineering ends up being neglected (if that’s true), and how engineers can help to ensure their subject is communicated better. Among the issues we expect to discuss are: novelty (if the proof-of-concept was written up, is the engineering prototype old news?); secrecy (is it a story if the 'what' is revealed but not the 'how'?); jargon (the significance of the work is hidden by technical language); competition (engineers won’t give quotes praising the work of those from other companies); and PR (journalists suspicious of stories from press releases).