Science Communication Competition winners announced

By Rachel Burnett, Education and Public Engagement Officer, Biochemical Society

We are pleased to announce the winners of our Science Communication Competition. Now in its fifth year, the competition attracted 63 entries which were reviewed by our panel of expert judges. The competition asks entrants to create an engaging, creative article or video explaining biomolecular topics to the general public. More information about the competition can be found on our website.

The first prize entries to the competition will be published on the Society’s website and in the August issue of The Biochemist. The second prize winners will be published in the October and the third prize winners in the December issue.

Winners of the written competition:

DonaldFirst prize: Donald Iain MacDonald, studying for a PhD in Neurodegenerative Disease at University College London – How to make a magnetically controlled mouse

“I’m delighted and honoured to have been awarded this prize from the Biochemical Society. I’m a molecularly-inclined neuroscience PhD student who is also passionate about making science accessible and engaging to everyone. So I really enjoyed the creative challenge of trying to communicate to the public some of the ingenious molecular engineering underpinning advances in neuroscience.”

AnwenSecond prize: Anwen Brown, studying for a PhD in Biochemistry at University College London – Ground Control to Major Tim

“I’m so pleased that my article was selected for a prize! Researching how our biochemistry can be affected in space was very interesting and writing a piece aimed at the general public was an excellent exercise. Thank you to the Biochemical Society for organizing a great competition!”

Jessica Hardy photoThird prize: Jessica Hardy, studying for a DPhil in Pathology at the University of Oxford – Cancer: a disease of bad luck or bad lifestyle?

“I am really delighted to have received a prize for my competition entry! I have always enjoyed writing about my own research, and thought it would be a fun challenge to try a different kind of writing – communicating science to the general public rather than other researchers. This competition provided the perfect opportunity for me to have a go, and I’d like to thank the Biochemical Society for organising it.”

Winners of the video competition:

Joe-2First prize: Joe Tickle, studying for a PhD in Immunity and Infection at the University of Birmingham – Inflammation and Liver Disease

“This competition was a fantastic opportunity for me to exhibit my research in a novel way. I hope that my video will now go on to help raise awareness about liver disease.”

X Hong-2Second prize: Xinyang Hong, studying for DPhil in Zoology at University of Oxford – Toll-like Receptors

“I’m delighted to have won the second place in the science communication competition hosted by the biochemical society. I had lots of fun making the video with the help of a bunch of great friends and I hope to share the fun of molecular biology with you through my video.”

JohannaThird prize: Johanna Laibe, studying for a Masters by Research in structural bioinformatics based modelling of protein aggregation at Kingston University – In between the (beta) sheets

“I would like to thank the Biochemical Society for giving me the great opportunity to communicate the importance of my project to the general public in a concise and, hopefully, entertaining way. I am honoured to be awarded this prize, especially because biosciences are key to addressing many of the challenges facing the human race and I therefore truly believe that educating the public is essential.”

The standard of the entries to the competition this year was very high, and much consideration was given by the judges when reviewing the shortlisted entries. The shortlisted entries were:

Name Institution Title of entry
Andy Tay University of California, Los Angeles Gravity: A force to be reckoned with
Anwen Brown University College London Ground Control to Major Tim.
Caitrin Crudden Karolinska Institutet Lucky old Dumbo!  Elephants and their cancer resistance.
Carlos Daniel Gamio University of Glasgow Of Rabbits and Men: The Tale of Paul Ehrlich
Donald Iain MacDonald University College London How to make a magnetically controlled mouse
Emilia Wojcik University of Exeter Microbial Mission to Mars
Heidi Forsyth University of Glasgow Bac-teria Future
Inés Dawson University of Oxford GAL4/UAS – the solution to targeted gene expression in fruit flies
Jennifer Hallam University of Glasgow A quest for novel antimicrobials
Jessica Hardy University of Oxford Cancer: a disease of bad luck, or bad lifestyle?
Joe Tickle University of Birmingham Inflammation and Liver Disease
Johanna Laibe Kingston University In between the (beta) sheets
Jonathan Smith University of Leicester Meeting Nature’s Artillery
Lauren Carruthers University of Glasgow The Antibiotic Resistance are Fighting Bac -teria
Mihaly Badonyi University of Aberdeen Squishy meets weird: the avian quantum compass
Xinyang Hong University of Oxford Toll-like Receptors

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