The Independent’s science editor Steve Connor won the best investigation prize at last night’s Association of British Science Writers awards.
The ABSW awards ran between 1966 to 2007 and were re-established in 2010 thanks to new sponsors.
President Connie St. Louis said ‘This year there was an extremely strong field of entries in most categories.
‘Hard work for the panel of judges, but a clear indication of British and Irish science journalism at its best“
The award ceremony followed the second UK conference of science journalists, which discussed and debated contemporary issues in science journalism.
Nearly 160 entries were submitted to the ABSW awards for Britain and Ireland, which were sponsored by Janssen Research and Development, a division of Belgian pharmaceutical company Janssen Pharmaceutica NV.
Connor was the only shortlisted entry in the investigative journalism category, with other entries not meeting the criteria for an investigation.
In response St Louis announced a new initiative to support investigative science journalism: ‘The ABSW is developing and seeking funding for an investigative journalism fellowship that will enable science journalists to take time away from their desks to carry out detailed investigations.
‘The Association is also looking at a specific training and networking event to develop investigative journalism skills and allow individuals to meet others who they can work with on investigations.”
Here is the full list of winners:
Best news item:
Angela Saini, Freelance. The formula for justice published in The Guardian 03-10-11
Helen Pearson, Chief Features Editor, Nature. Study of a lifetime published in Nature 01-03-11
Best scripted/edited television programme or online video:
After life: The strange science of decay. Broadcast on BBC 4 on 06-12-11.
Team Entry: George McGavin, Presenter; Fred Hepburn, Producer/Director; Marcus Herbert, Executive Producer
The Royal Society Radio Prize – a prize for the best scripted/edited radio programme or podcast:
Hearing the past broadcast BBC Radio 4 on 12-09-11. Individual Entry: Jane Reck, Freelance
Best investigative journalism:
Steve Connor, Science Editor, The Independent, for ‘Big tobacco exposed’
Richard Gregory award for best newcomer:
James Poskett, Freelance reporter
New for 2012: The NUJ Stephen White award for best communication of science in a non science context:
Ed Yong, Freelance. How do our bacteria help us? Broadcast on Four Thought, BBC Radio 4 1
Lifetime achievement award:
David Dickson, Editor SciDev.net