Science blog awards recognise youth and experience

A PhD student and a pharmacology professor have been named the joint winners of a national competition to honour the best science bloggers in the country

December 1, 2012

Suzi Gage, who is conducting research at the University of Bristol into whether there is a link between recreational drug use and mental health problems in teenagers, shared the 2012 UK Science Blog accolade with David Colquhoun, emeritus professor of pharmacology at University College London.

The inaugural award, organised by the Good Thinking Society in association with Soho Skeptics, received more than 100 entries from leading bloggers and was judged by top scientists and science writers, including Bad Science author Ben Goldacre and Mark Henderson, former science editor at The Times.

Ms Gage’s Sifting the Evidence blog focuses on research and ideas in the field of epidemiology and public health, while Professor Colquhoun’s blog, DC’s Improbable Science, offers his investigations into “dubious and dishonest science”.

Ms Gage said she was astounded and delighted to have won the prize, saying that many of the other nominees were “the very people who inspired me to start blogging in the first place.”

On his blog, Professor Colquhoun wrote that he was “gobsmacked” to have been named joint winner. “We must have been youngest and oldest entrants,” he said.

Science writer Simon Singh, who helped judge the prize, said: “It was hard to compare such a diverse range of blogs, on a wide variety of topics. Bloggers ranged from teenagers to emeritus professors, from doctors to astronomers. In the end, it seemed fairest to recognise this diversity by splitting the prize between two excellent bloggers.”

The judging criteria for the blogs included scientific content, reach, influence, entertainment and frequency of posting. The winners received £500 each.

2012 UK Science Blog finalists

  • Winner: David Colquhoun – DC’s Improbable Science
  • Winner: Suzi Gage – Sifting the Evidence
  • Runner Up: Dorothy Bishop – BishopBlog
  • Runner Up: Ed Yong – Not Exactly Rocket Science
  • Runner Up: Oliver Childs, Henry Scowcroft and Kat Arney – Cancer Research UK Science Update
  • Shortlisted Blog: Stuart Clark – Across the Universe
  • Shortlisted Blog: André Tomlin – The Mental Elf
  • Shortlisted Blog: Athene Donald – Athene Donald’s Blog
  • Shortlisted Blog: Neuroskeptic – Neuroskeptic
  • Shortlisted Blog: Dean Burnett – Brain Flapping

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