The photo above shows me presenting the inaugural Student Science Publication Award, sponsored by the Institute of Physics and IOP Publishing, which publishes Physics World, to Hadiza Mohammed of the online magazine Women Rock Science. She is a working civil engineer currently doing a Master’s in advanced environmental and energy studies.
The award, which was launched this year, recognizes student journalists who produce a regular science publication and seeks in part to nurture the next generation of science writers. It forms part of the annual awards given by the Association of British Science Writers and was presented at a reception held at the Royal Society in London as the culmination of this year’s UK Conference of Science Journalists.
Women Rock Science is packed with interesting stuff about top female researchers and scientists, with the “Trailblazers” page, for example, including some familiar and not-so-familiar names from the world of science. Among the latter are Jeanne Villepreux-Power, who apparently invented the aquarium, and the 18th-century physicist, mathematician and philosopher Sophie Germain.
The runner-up prize went to a team from The GIST magazine from the University of Strathclyde, edited by Timothy Revell, while also on the shortlist was Spark Magazine, published by students at the University of York.
I wasn’t part of the judging panel, but I have been told the judges focused on the quality of the journalism and science writing, while looking for “originality, style and flair”. Creatively chosen content, good presentation and material that is appropriate for the audience were other factors that counted for the judges too.
So congratulations to Hadiza – let’s hope the award inspires her and others to a career in science journalism!