Summer School

News and Events

Many thanks to all those who took part in the Summer School 2019, why not search #abswss19 on twitter or posts from our account @absw, to find out what happened?  If further downloads become available (eg: speaker presentations) they will be posted on our Summer School downloads page.

Monday 8 July 2019, UCL, London

  • Considering a career in science journalism?
  • Taken a career break and want to get back into the field?
  • Thinking of moving to the science or tech beat?

Gain new skills and insights and get the chance to network with key editors and journalists at the Association of British Science Writers Science & Technology Journalism Summer School.

The summer school is an official satellite event of the WCSJ2019 and for those registered to attend the WCSJ the summer school is free to attend (proof of WCSJ registration required on registration for the summer school by upload of your registration receipt) you will also then receive a 100 Swiss francs refund (50 for students) on the registration fee paid for the WCSJ19 after the WCSJ has taken place by providing evidence of attendance at the summer school which ABSW will provide on request. 

Registration Costs:

ABSW members/UCL staff and students/WFSJ members: £45 inc VAT

ABSW members may attend the evening reception and key note speech without attending the Summer School - just select evening event only on the registration form - this event is FREE to ABSW members

Registered for WCSJ - FREE (proof of registration required by upload of your registration receipt through summer school registration form)

You can join the ABSW to enjoy all our member benefits and the registration fee of £45 - our registration form allows you to pay for reduced registration and membership in one payment, however you will still need to complete our membership form once you have made the payment.

Registration now closed as event has taken place.




Tech Stream

Essential Skills Stream




How to break into science and tech media job market - and how to make it a success once you're in 


Eleni Courea, reporter at  The Times

Aamna Mohdin, news reporter at The Guardian

Timothy Revell, assistant news editor, New Scientist

Matthew Warren, reporter at Nature

Moderator: Mico Tatalovic, chair of the ABSW Executive Board and freelance science journalist


Coffee and tea networking break



Reporting on emerging technologies: The next big thing or vaporware?

Sunny Bains, ABSW Executive Board member and UCL


Writing Features: The elements of narrative journalism

Richard Fisher, managing editor, features (RoW)


Lunch break



Investigating companies

Bill Goodwin, investigations editor, Computer Weekly


Incorporating visuals into your story

Charlotte Stoddart, filmmaker and science journalist


Coffee and tea networking break



The law around company investigations: NDAs, libel, trade secrets, whistlblowing, protecting sources


Cathy James, Senior Legal Consultant and former Chief Executive of Protect

Louis Charalambous, partner at Simons Muirhead & Burton and head of the Media Content and Disputes team

Stephanie Kleyman, Director of Kleyman & Co Solicitors 

Moderator: Sunny Bains, ABSW Executive Board member and UCL


Reading a research paper: Why the full story probably isn’t in the press release, and how to find out what really is

Kevin McConway, emeritus professor of applied statistics, The Open University



Pitching to technology, engineering and trade publications


Nitin Dahad, EE Times

Katia Moskvitch, business and space editor, Wired UK, British Science Journalist of the Year 2019

Dickon Ross, editor-in-chief, Engineering & Technology

Clare McDonald, Business Editor, Computer Weekly

Bill Goodwin, Investigations Editor, Computer Weekly

Moderator: Aisling Irwin, secretary of the ABSW Executive Board and freelance science journalist


Building a satisfying portfolio career   


Dr Kat Arney, award-winning writer and broadcaster, founder and director of First Create The Media - a multimedia storytelling consultancy for people who do science

Chris Edwards, freelance technology Journalist

Andy Extance, freelance journalist and treasurer ABSW Executive Board

Dr Helen Pilcher, science writer, performer and author of 'Bring Back the King: The New Science of De-extinction'

Moderator: Wendy Grossman, ABSW Executive Board and freelance



Meet the Editors (individual short appointments with editors) or networking 


Reception - open to all ABSW members not just Summer School delegates


Keynote speech followed by Q&A 

Professor Mark Miodownik, professor of materials & society, UCL: We need to talk about stuff

Open to all ABSW members not just Summer School delegates


Workshops and panels: details and speakers

Programme at a glance with room details


The ABSW, UCL and EurekAlert! - supporting and developing the next generation of science journalists. 

Find out more about our previous Science Journalism Summer Schools held in 2017 and 2015.

With thanks to our supporters:

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Professional Development Partner
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Over the past decade, the ABSW has given out more than two dozen awards to students and newcomers, including runners-up and shortlisted entries.

Where are those award winners now and what are they working on?

Either the awards jury is great at picking out promising professionals, or the award itself plays a role in boosting their high-flying careers, as the following list is quite impressive.

Most work in science and tech journalism, some are research scientists, and others are policy managers or strategy advisers at medical institutions.

Here’s a selection – in alphabetical order – of winners and runners-up in the ABSW awards for students and newcomers since 2009, with brackets to indicate what they were doing when they won their ABSW award, and where they are now:


Increasingly, the public is getting its science news and perspective directly from the source: scientists and engineers.

This Kavli Symposium explored the benefits—and challenges—of scientists and engineers bypassing traditional media outlets to tell their stories, thus becoming unfiltered sources of news and perspective. In particular, it focused on how the values of journalism—values that build trust between the media and the public—can be more fully shared with the growing body of scientist-communicators who are reaching their audiences directly, often through blogs and social media.

ABSW chairman, Mico Tatalovic, was invited to participate in the symposium. Here’s the final report.

The ABSW Science Writers' Awards for Britain and Ireland, the "Oscars" of science writing, have been running for over half a century ­– and only a handful of people have won on more than three occasions.

Overall, there have been some 372 winners since our records started in 1966. That’s an average of around 7 award winners a year.

The vast majority of the winners, 251 of them, only won once; 32 people won twice.

Nine people won 3 times; three people won 4 times; and two people won 5 times.

But only one person – the late Steve Connor of The Independent – won a grand total of 7 awards, the record number of ABSW awards netted by anyone.

Steve Connor won in 1985, 1993, 1999, 2002, 2012, 2016 and 2018 in categories including news, features, and investigation, as well as the UK science writer of the year and lifetime achievement awards. The ABSW committee has named our investigative award to honour his work.

The next top winners were Ian Sample and Tim Radford, both of The Guardian, who each won five awards.

Geoff Watts, broadcaster and journalist, and Andrew Luck-Baker, producer and presenter – both of whom worked for BBC Radio 4 – have each won four times, as did Roger Highfield, mostly for his work at The Daily Telegraph.

And the nine people who won three times each are: Frank Close, Deborah Cohen, Louise Dalziel, Oliver Gillie, John Gribbin, Robin McKie, Martin Redfern, Colin Tudge, and Ed Yong.

The list of top winners is dominated by men, with only two women featuring in the top 15 winners with three awards each – Deborah Cohen and Louise Dalziel, both broadcast journalists at the BBC. This gender skew could be partly because journalism was long dominated by men, and perhaps in part becuase of a possible bias in application rates. Hopefully, we are making those reasons a thing of the past and we’ll see more women winners in years to come. In fact, last year we had ten women winners out of a total of 19; and in 2017 we had eight women winners out of 15.

The 2019 awards are now open for entry in 16 categories. The deadline is 31 January.

(These numbers are preliminary and come from our publicly-available records of award winners. They don’t include runners-up or special mentions.)

When Steve Connor passed away, tributes to his journalism came flooding in and rightly so. He was, in my view, the greatest science journalist of his generation. I am therefore so pleased that ABSW Board has chosen to honour Steve by naming its award for investigative journalism after him.

The investigation award is one of the most prestigious prizes in science journalism. It is there to reward those that don’t take the information they are given at face value, that can ‘smell’ a story, that can chase it down, stand it up and, crucially, set right wrongdoing.

So many nice things were said by Steve by those who were fortunate enough to work with him. But one I thought was particularly insightful was by his former editor at the i newspaper, Ollie Duff.

Booking your ticket early and being a member of ABSW can save you up to 140 Swiss Francs (£115) off the regular registration fee for the World Conference of Science Journalists.

Membership at ABSW is only £40 a year, and it includes a host of other benefits.

Join here.

ABSW members who attend our summer school of science journalism in London, in June, will be eligible for a further 100 Swiss Francs (£80) refund on their ticket to the WCSJ19.

Regular registration fee for the WCSJ19 is expected to be 490 CHF. Early bird with ABSW membership will only cost 350 CHF, with a further 100 CHF discount for those attending the ABSW Summer School of Science Journalism 2019 in June. Don’t miss out on the available discount to the largest and most important global meet-up of science journalists.


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