Twelve outstanding articles have been shortlisted for this year’s Max Perutz Science Writing Award, the MRC’s annual writing competition.
2019 Max Perutz Science Writing Award shortlist announced
The winner, who will receive a £1,500 prize, will be announced at the awards ceremony on 15 October at the Royal Institution, London.
This year’s judging panel is made up of:
- MRC Executive Chair Professor Fiona Watt
- Dr Roger Highfield, MRC Council member and director of external affairs at the Science Museum Group
- Andy Ridgway, journalist and senior lecturer in science communication at the University of the West of England, Bristol
The Max Perutz Award asks MRC-funded PhD students to write up to 800 words about their research and why it matters, in a way that would interest a non-scientific audience.
More than 100 entries of a very high standard were received this year, which made the shortlisting a challenging task. The MRC extends congratulations to the following exceptional writers:
- Erin Attrill, Living Systems Institute, University of Exeter: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend”
- Anna Beukenhorst, MRC Doctoral Training Programme, University of Manchester: “Smartphones for healthcare research data at our fingertips”
- Imogen Birch, The Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC): “Get some sleep, you’ll feel better in the morning”
- Peter Gawne, School of Biomedical Engineering & Imaging Science, Kings College London: “An optimist's guide to radioactivity using medical imaging to develop and improve new treatments”
- Magda Mareckova, University of Oxford: “One in ten women suffers from endometriosis - can studying the endometrium cell by cell help us diagnose it?”
- Nora Schmit, School of Public Health, Imperial College London: “Back to the future: how reconstructing the past hepatitis B epidemic can help prevent liver cancer in the future”
- Amy Southern, MRC Harwell: “Making sense of a sticky situation: finding the 'glue ear gene' in Down syndrome”
- Lauren Terry, University of Birmingham: “Senolytics - the anti-aging product you've never heard of”
- Elisabeth Trinh, University of Manchester: “Mixed up messages in the gut”
- Alice Waitt, University of Nottingham: “How to RECOGNeyes your attention”
- Katrina Wesencraft, The EPSRC and MRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Optical Medical Imaging (OPTIMA CDT), Centre for Biophotonics, University of Strathclyde: “Could a cell 'invisibility cloak' help cure diabetes?”
- Akira Wiberg, University of Oxford: “Getting on your nerves”
The award is named in honour of one of the UK’s most outstanding scientists and communicators, Dr Max Perutz. Max, who died in 2002, was awarded the 1962 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work using X-ray crystallography to study the structures of globular proteins. He was the founder and first chairman of the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, the lab which unravelled the structure of DNA. Max was also a keen and talented communicator who inspired countless students to use everyday language to share their research with the people whose lives are improved by their work.
All of the shortlisted articles will be published on the MRC website after the awards ceremony, on 16 October.
The Medical Research Council has been at the forefront of scientific discovery to improve human health. Founded in 1913 to tackle tuberculosis, the MRC now invests taxpayers’ money in some of the best medical research in the world across every area of health.