Science journalism awards shortlist announced

The Association of British Science Writers has unveiled the shortlist for its 2010 awards.

The winners in all categories will be announced at an awards ceremony on 23 July in London, where a lifetime achievement award will also be presented.

ABSW Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland 2010 Shortlist:

Best News Story

  • Linda Geddes, New Scientist reporter, for ‘What if you had to decide in your 20s: A gene test available next year could tell women how long they can put off having children.’
  • Mark Henderson, science editor of The Times, for ‘Stem-cell hope for paralysed patients: Trials on human beings given the go-ahead in new ruling.’
  • Robin McKie, science editor of The Observer, for ‘The most dangerous place in Europe: Last week the government announced plans for a new generation of nuclear plants. But Britain is still dealing with the legacy of its first nuclear installation at Sellafield – a terrifyingly toxic waste dump in ‘the most hazardous building in Europe’.’
  • John Travis, Europe news editor for Science Magazine, for ‘Scientists Decry “Flawed” and “Horrifying” Nationality Tests: Scientists are greeting with surprise and dismay a project to use DNA and isotope analysis of tissue from asylum seekers to evaluate their nationality and help decide who can enter the United Kingdom.’

Best Feature

  • Leo Hickman, for ‘Fake: WIRED meets the Dutch scientists racing to make in vitro meat the next billion-dollar industry.’ Published in Wired magazine.
  • Robin McKie for ‘Breathing lessons: This is what Emma Lake has to take every day to stay alive. But now a team of British scientists is on the verge of an evolutionary treatment that could extend her life by decades.’
  • Helen Pearson, chief features editor of Nature, for ‘One gene, twenty years: When the cystic fibrosis gene was found in 1989, therapy seemed around the corner.  Two decades on, biologists still have a long way to go.’
  • Angela Saini for ‘Guilty: People are being jailed after lie-detecting brain scans find them guilty.’ Published in Wired magazine.

Best Scripted/Edited Programme

  • Geraldine Fitzgerald, producer, Sue Broom, presenter, for ‘The Naming of Genes’ broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
  • Richard Hollingham and John Watkins for ‘Frontiers: bioprecipitation’ broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
  • Nick Jordan, producer/director, Adam Rutherford, presenter, Jaqueline Smith, series producer, for ‘The Cell’ broadcast on BBC 4.
  • Paul Olding, producer/director, Chris Granlund, series producer, Andrew Marr, presenter, for ‘Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Life and Death’ broadcast on BBC 2.

Best Investigative Journalism

  • Peter Aldhous, San Francisco bureau chief of New Scientist, for ‘How My Genome Was Hacked: If a New Scientist reporter’s DNA is vulnerable, so is yours.’
  • Deborah Cohen, assistant editor of BMJ, Philip Carter, producer, and Tom Clarke, reporter for Channel 4, for ‘Complications: tracking down the data on oseltamivir. A Cochrane group’s attempt to reproduce an analysis underpinning the use of oseltamivir in pandemic influenza hit a brick wall.’ Published in the BMJ.
  • Brian Deer for ‘Hidden records show MMR truth: A Sunday Times investigation has found that altered data was behind the decade-long scare over vaccination.’ Published in The Sunday Times.

Best Newcomer

  • Jacob Aron, Freelance
  • Colin Stuart, Freelance
  • Helen Thomson, Biomedical news editor, New Scientist

More details on the ABSW website

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