Science Award Shortlisings for McKie

The Scottish science editor at The Observer newspaper has been shortlisted in a competition celebrating the best of science journalism.

Robin McKie has been nominated in both the News and the Features sections of the awards, being run by the British Association of Science Writers.

And a BBC Scotland-produced programme is also among the nominees, this time in the Best Scripted/Edited Programme (Podcast, Radio, TV or Online Video) category. It is for The Cell, broadcast on BBC 4 TV.

The ABSW Science Writers' Awards for Britain and Ireland attracted over 150 entries.

This is the first set of awards for three years – after the previous sponsors backed out. They had been previously on the go since 1966. They are now sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research and Development.

The winners are to be announced on the 23rd.

The shortlist reads:

Best News Item

Linda Geddes, Reporter, New Scientist, 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.’ Published in New Scientist.

Mark Henderson, Science Editor, The Times, for ‘Stem-cell hope for paralysed patients: Trials on human beings given the go-ahead in new ruling.’ Published in The Times.

Robin McKie, Science Editor, 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’.’ Published in The Observer.

John Travis, Europe News Editor, 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.’ Published in Science.

Best Feature

Leo Hickman, Features, The Guardian for ‘Fake: WIRED meets the Dutch scientists racing to make in vitro meat the next billion-dollar industry.’ Published in WIRED.

Robin McKie, Science Editor, The Observer, 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 a evolutionary treatment that could extend her life by decades.’ Published in The Observer Magazine.

Helen Pearson, Chief Features Editor, 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.’ Published in Nature.

Angela Saini, Freelance, for ‘Guilty: People are being jailed after lie-detecting brain scans find them guilty.’ Published in WIRED.

Best Scripted/Edited Programme (Podcast, Radio, TV or Online Video)

Geraldine Fitzgerald, Producer, Sue Broom, Presenter, BBC (team entry), for ‘The Naming of Genes’ broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Richard Hollingham, Freelance, and John Watkins, BBC, (team entry), for ‘Frontiers: bioprecipitation’ broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

Paul Olding, Producer/Director, Chris Granlund, Series Producer, Andrew Marr, Presenter, BBC (team entry), for ‘Darwin’s Dangerous Idea: Life and Death’ broadcast on BBC 2 TV.

Nick Jordan, Producer/Director, Adam Rutherford, Presenter, Jaqueline Smith, Series Producer, BBC (team entry), for ‘The Cell’ a BBC Scotland Production broadcast on BBC 4 TV

Best Investigative Journalism

Peter Aldhous, San Francisco Bureau Chief, New Scientist, for ‘How My Genome Was Hacked: If a New Scientist reporter’s DNA is vulnerable, so is yours.’ Published in New Scientist.

Deborah Cohen, Assistant Editor, BMJ, Philip Carter, Producer, freelance, Tom Clarke, Reporter, Channel 4 (team entry), 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, Freelance, 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

Helen Thomson, Biomedical news editor, New Scientist

Colin Stuart, Freelance