I was keen for the BBC to be involved because the qualities we were looking for here are the same as those we strive to achieve each day in our coverage of health and science, across BBC News. Professor Robin Perutz, son of the late Max Perutz, spoke movingly about the work of his father and his skills and interest in science writing. He also paid tribute to scientists Dorothy Hodgkin and Lise Meitner, both of whom were very highly regarded by his father and whom he had met as a child. Entrants are asked to explain why their research matters in just words.
He lived by this policy when he began his research on haemoglobin, which required a computer. Robin Perutz, his son, narrated this to us in a room at the Royal Institution in London, lined from ceiling to floor with grand hardbound academic journals, decades in the making.
Max Perutz wanted science to be accessible and both entertain and inform wider audiences, whose lives were improved by research, without being riddled by jargon. This is called science communication, seen across formats such as TV, radio, and of course, writing.
Be it press releases, magazines, books or even blogs, writing is instrumental in keeping everyone informed on why research is important. In an word compelling essay you have to say what your research is and why it should matter. This year over a hundred essays were submitted and narrowed down to fourteen by a judging panel rife with high ranking science journalists.
On an ordinary September morning I became one of those fourteen. It felt out of my depth. With a flight in a few hours, I rigorously edited my essay while calling it names, spewing enraged type while making my partner read it repeatedly.
I was an angry writer and something was missing. He then gave me the best advice: Show the humans involved in and impacted by the research, let their voices appear through words.
So I wrote in their roles, their stories and quotes, and submitted half asleep.
The implications of this were that my words had been appreciated by those at the height of science writing, that I was going to attend a prestigious masterclass and an award ceremony brimming with scientific minds, and that my essay would be publicised by the MRC.
I was on the nerdiest high possible. Attending the ceremony with my ecstatic mother, I mingled with shortlisted candidates, their guests and supervisors, the judging panel, the organising team and Prof. Robin Perutz and his wife. Conversation in the air discussed genes, prototypes and breakthroughs while I gaped in awe.
And when people remembered my essay I was shocked at the impact. They reflected on how eye opening they found the problem of not accounting for culture in dementia assessment, how necessary this research was.
When the ceremony began Prof. Robin gave us a history of Dr. Max while pictures appeared on the projector screen, drawing out the similarities between father and son.
When they stated our names I was overwhelmed by my fellow shortlistersfrom institutions such as Oxford, Cambridge, UCL, their essays alluringly titled: What lies at the end of the yellow brick road?
Essays that proposed sunshine as an antidepressant, promoted the preservation of placenta, explored childhood obesity in South Africa. I proudly represented Manchester but my essay and I were feeling nervous.
My mother squeezed my hand till our knuckles were white.
Later, I was interviewed with the winner and other runner ups, being asked about how I felt. But worse than submitting would have been not submitting. To have my essay come even close to that was a privilege.Max Perutz Award science writing tips Our Max Perutz Science Writing Award is now in its 21st year.
To help entrants, Isabel Harding shares science writing tips from last year’s winner and runners-up, along with comments from the judges on why their articles made the cut.
The other judges on this year’s panel included: Caroline Parkinson, Assistant Editor, Specialist Journalism, BBC News; MRC Council members Dr Ruth McKernan CBE, CEO, Innovate UK and Vivienne Parry OBE, science journalist; Professor Sue Gathercole, Director, MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit; and Max Perutz Award winner Christoffer van Tulleken.
Emily Eisner, winner of the MRC's Max Perutz Science Writing Award , is investigating how smartphone technology might help identify those at risk of a psychotic episode.
Perutz was delighted to win the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science in The scientist-citizen [ edit ] Perutz attacked the theories of philosophers Sir Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn and biologist Richard Dawkins in a lecture given at Cambridge on 'Living Molecules' in The MRC Max Perutz Science Writing Award was won by MRC PhD student Emily Eisner from the University of Manchester.
In her winning article she explains her research investigating how smartphone technology might help identify when people are at risk of a psychotic episode. A love affair with science writing: The Max Perutz Award 23rd October 9th April Nobel Prize winning molecular biologist Dr.
Max Perutz believed science makes “ the impossible, possible ”.
October 27, Elka Humphrys, a PhD student in the Cancer Group, was delighted to be shortlisted for the Max Perutz Science Writing Award with her article “’It’s not fair’: a tale of two cancers”. The Max Perutz Award, which is in its 18 th year asks MRC-funded PhD students to write up to words about their research and why it matters in a way that would interest a non-scientific audience. Since the competition started in , hundreds of researchers have submitted entries and taken their first steps in science communication. Perutz was delighted to win the Lewis Thomas Prize for Writing about Science in The scientist-citizen [ edit ] Perutz attacked the theories of philosophers Sir Karl Popper and Thomas Kuhn and biologist Richard Dawkins in a lecture given at Cambridge on 'Living Molecules' in