Science Commentator of the year announced at The Comment Awards 2013
Freelance writer Anjana Ahuja has been awarded Science Commentator of the year in the Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards 2013.
This award recognises Anjana's work in the Financial Times and the Daily Telegraph, writing on the challenges of risk communication – for example, her article on the first human deaths from H7N9 flu in China in May 2013. The judges also noted her piece on the Italian court verdict against seismologists following the L'Aquila earthquake in 2009 and her comment on mitochondrial disease and 'three-parent babies'.
The awards celebrate the finest print and online commentators in the UK, and this year have included a Science Commentator category for the first time, proudly sponsored by the Wellcome Trust.
Mark Henderson, Head of Communications at the Wellcome Trust, said: "Anjana Ahuja’s well-argued, evidence-based pieces exemplify the kind of work that helps to convey key scientific and biomedical issues into public consciousness. This type of science commentary has a large part to play in engaging the public with these issues, raising the quality of debate whilst making for fascinating reading. With such a high-quality shortlist, we are therefore delighted that Anjana is the first to receive the Science Commentator award that we are pleased to be sponsoring in its very first year."
Also on the shortlist were Professor Colin Blakemore (the Times), and Charles Clover (the Sunday Times), who have written on the use of drugs in sport and Margaret Thatcher and environmentalism respectively.
This year's judging panel was chaired by Stevie Spring, Chairman of BBC Children in Need and Director of Engine. The Science Commentator category judges were: Mark Henderson, Head of Communications at the Wellcome Trust; Fiona Fox, Director of the Science Media Centre; Professor Anne Johnson, Professor of Infectious Disease Epidemiology at University College London; Dr Ewan Birney, Associate Director of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, European Bioinformatics Institute; and Isabella Thomas, journalist and Programme Director to the Axel and Margaret Ax:son Johnson Foundation and Axess Publishing in Stockholm.
The winners in all categories can be found on The Comment Awards website.