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Researchers in Museums


Engaging the public with research & collections


Student Engagers Win ‘Oscars of Science Journalism!’

By Arendse I Lund, on 30 May 2019

The Student Engager team has won Britain and Ireland’s top award for science blogging at the 2019 Association of British Science Writers’ (ABSW) award ceremony.

Dorrie Giles presents Student Engagers Mark Kearney, Josie Mills, and team coordinator Arendse Lund with the Dr Katharine Giles science blog award at the ABSW ceremony (Credit: Trevor Aston Photography)

We were awarded the prestigious Dr Katharine Giles science blog award in a ceremony hosted this week by London’s Science Museum. The judges commended us for our “fresh, fun and innovative approach” to science writing, complimenting the curiosity-driven writing of this blog. We are over the moon!

Nikki Giles, Dorrie Giles, Mark Kearney, Josie Mills, and Arendse Lund celebrate at the ABSW awards (Credit: Nikki Giles)

Considered the “Oscars of Science Journalism,” the ABSW awards annually recognize the best in science journalism. The other finalists in the category were Cancer Research UK and the British Psychological Society Research Digest. Previous winners include Guardian columnist Alex Bellos, science educator Andy Brumming, and science writers Benjamin Thompson and Anand Jagatia. We’re the only students to ever win the award.

Over the last few years, the blog has grown as the team has gotten larger. It reflects the interests and research of each member. As we progress with our own doctoral research, the stories we tell here develop as well. This blog has always been a way for us to communicate the value of our research, the wider scientific application, and the fascinating connections we discover within UCL’s museums. Most importantly though, we strive to communicate our joy in what we research. From cubed wombat poop to Neanderthal encounters with Homo Sapiens to ancient Egyptian colors, there are endless interesting stories to talk about. And sometimes these posts aren’t connected to our research at all — many of our very favorite subjects to write about come about from questions asked by visitors to the museums!

Thank you to all of you who read and enjoy the blog! Are there any stories that have particularly stuck with you? Let us know!

We’re Finalists for a Science Journalism Award!

By Arendse I Lund, on 16 May 2019

We’re absolutely delighted to announce that we’re finalists for the Association of British Science Writers’ (ABSW) Dr Katharine Giles science blog award! The awards celebrate researchers who undertake science journalism and encourage reporting to improve science literacy in the UK. We’re especially proud as these are the top science journalism awards in the UK and Ireland.

This award was named after a fellow UCL researcher, who’s an inspiration to us all. Dr Katharine Giles was a research fellow at the Centre for Polar Observation and Measurement here at UCL where she worked on the interactions between sea ice cover, wind patterns, and ocean circulation. From the award announcement:

After consideration of two hundred and seventy entries, the judges have decided on the finalists in this year’s Association of British Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland. The winners will be announced at the awards ceremony on Tuesday 28 May 2019 in the Science Museum’s new Illuminate event space. The Awards are supported by Johnson & Johnson Innovation along with category support from the Royal Society, the Dr Katharine Giles Fund and NUJ/Stephen White Bequest.

Mico Tatalovic, chair of the judging panel and of the ABSW said: “We have had a near-record number of entries this year, and the standard has been excellent, as usual, which made judging them difficult but also enjoyable. It was great to see some new names – of both journalists and publications – on the shortlist, and several entries that were published in non-science publications. It’s been a privilege to be a part of these awards and see them go from strength to strength over the last few years. We hope to make them even bigger and better next year!”

Congratulations to all our blog writers this year: Arendse Lund, Cerys Bradley, Kyle Lee-Crossett, Josie Mills, Hannah Wills, Alexandra Bridarolli, Mark Kearney, Anna Pokorska, Hannah Page, Sarah Gibbs, Cerys Jones, Caz Thompson, and Jen Datiles. We’re excited to see where this goes and couldn’t have done this without the thousands of you who read this blog!