The 2020 ABSW Awards shortlist was announced in June and the winners will be announced at an Awards Ceremony at the UK Conference of Science Journalists on Wednesday 14 October. 

Report from the ABSW Awards Chairs

The Chairs of the 2020 Awards Panels have reflected on the judging process in a report which you can download at the bottom of this page.

Many congratulations to all the shortlisted entries, set out in detail below.

Editor of the Year

  • Daniel Bennett, BBC Science Focus
  • Leo Hickman, Carbon Brief

British Science Journalist of the Year - sponsored by ABPI

  • Elizabeth Gibney, Nature
  • Amit Katwala, WIRED
  • Oliver Morton, The Economist

Engineering or Technology Story of the Year - sponsored by BIVDA

  • Liam Drew, Agency and the Algorithm, Nature
  • Olive Heffernan, The hidden fight to stop illegal fishing from destroying our oceans. WIRED
  • Oliver Morton, Synthetic biology: A whole new world, The Economist

Feature of the Year - general audience

  • Victoria Gill, Chernobyl: The end of a three-decade experiment, BBC News
  • Alok Jha, Gravitational astronomy proves its maturity, The Economist
  • Michael Le Page, Infectious Optimism, New Scientist

Feature of the Year - specialist audience

  • Giorgia Guglielmi, Facing up to injustice in genome science, Nature
  • Aisling Irwin, The Everything Mapper, Nature
  • Amit Katwala, Global insect populations are collapsing, and we don't know why, WIRED
  • Gayathri Vaidyanathan, India’s tigers seem to be a massive success story — many scientists aren’t sure, Nature

Innovation of the Year

  • Shamini Bundell, Davide Castelvecchi and Noah Baker, The history of the universe in the blink of an eye, Nature
  • Simon Evans and Rosamund Pearce, How the UK transformed its electricity supply in just a decade, Carbon Brief
  • Philip Robinson, Ben Valsler, Patrick Walter, Neil Withers, The data behind the Nobel prizes, Chemistry World

Newcomer of the Year

  • Giorgia Guglielmi, freelance
  • Nicholas Howe, Nature
  • Annabelle Timsit, Quartz
  • Victoria Williams, freelance

News Analysis or Explanatory Reporting of the Year

  • Nicola Davis, Euthanasia and assisted dying rates are soaring. But where are they legal?, The Guardian
  • Emma Howard and Georgie Johnson, Life support: How bugs put food on the table, Unearthed, Greenpeace
  • Oliver Morton and Matt McLean, What goes up, The Economist

News Item of the Year

  • Damian Carrington, Plummeting number of insects threatens 'catastrophe for planet', The Guardian
  • Debora MacKenzie, We may finally know what causes Alzheimer's - and how to stop it, New Scientist
  • Kelly Oakes, Amazon Prime Video is full of dodgy documentaries pushing dangerous cancer 'cures', WIRED

NUJ Stephen White Award for communication and reporting of science in a non science context

  • Emma Howard and Georgie Johnson, Life Support: How sea creatures control the climate, Unearthed, Greenpeace
  • Oliver Morton, Remembering a robot, The Economist
  • Jonathan O'Callaghan, What is space junk and why is it a problem?, Natural History Museum

Opinion Piece or Editorial of the Year

  • Eva Amsen, Genetic medicine Is poised to create new inequality. Here’s how to fix it, Undark
  • Michael Le Page, The biofuel delusion, New Scientist
  • Angela Saini, Identity crisis, Tortoise

Research Policy or Funding Story of the Year

  • David Adam, Science funders gamble on grant lotteries, Nature
  • David Cyranoski, The potent effects of Japan’s stem-cell policies, Nature
  • Ehsan Masood, How China is redrawing the map of world science, Nature

Royal Society Audio Award

  • Melanie Brown, Louisa Field, Eleni Hassabisand Marnie Chesterton, Why can't I remember my accident?, CrowdScience BBC World Service
  • Deborah Cohen, Andrew Luck-Baker, Rami Tzabar and Kevin Fong, 13 minutes to the moon Episode 5: The Fourth Astronaut, BBC World Service
  • Dimitri Houtart, Jheni Osman, Anne-Marie Bullock Alasdair Cross, Costing the Earth: The e-DNA revolution, BBC Radio 4

Steve Connor Award for Investigative Journalism - sponsored by UK Research and Innovation

  • Benedikt Heubl, Lithium firms depleting vital water supplies in Chile, Engineering and Technology
  • Adam Murphy, Phil Sansom and Chris Smith, The fly infest-agation, Naked Scientists
  • Peter Schwartzstein, One of Africa’s most fertile lands is struggling to feed its own people, Bloomberg Businessweek

Video Story of the Year

  • Victoria Gill, Jemma Cox, David Cheeseman, Alison Francis: producer. Our World: In the shadow of Chernobyl, BBC News 
  • Alok Jha and Oliver Smyth, Why does time go forwards, not backwards?, BBC Ideas
  • Angela Saini and Adam Pearson, Eugenics: science’s greatest scandal, BBC Four

The Dr Katharine Giles Award for best popular article written by a scientist or engineer

  • Anna Henschel, Can really *everyone* be a data scientist?, Glasgow Insight Into Science & Technology
  • Lauren Nelson, Drug design of the future, A Short Scientist 

The 2021 Awards will open for submissions in December 2020. If you are not a member of ABSW, sign up for our newsletter for updates.


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