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I won an award (and a very touching one)

At tonight’s Association of British Science Writers Awards, I got a runner-up prize in the Feature category for my profile of illusion master Henrik Ehrsson, and I won in the Science Communication in a Non-Science Context category for this podcast I did about the trillions of microbes that share our bodies and lives.

I’m delighted. The award is new, and it’s for a piece of science communication that exists outside science magazines, science sections of newspapers, or something similar. It’s for talking to people about science in places where they wouldn’t normally hear about it.

There’s a nice twist. The award is in memory of Stephen White, a science writer who passed away 2 years ago. Stephen taught the 2-day course that I attended at Cancer Research UK which first clued me into the possibility of being a science writer, and spent a very gracious evening in the pub fielding my naive dumbass questions. Tonight, I got to thank his wife Liz, who presented me with the award. It meant a lot.

Also, I’m thrilled about the runner-up prize in Features too, which was won by Helen Pearson for her story of the study of a lifetime. Frankly, any other result would have been an utter travesty. Helen’s one of our finest feature writers (disclosure: she regularly edits me) and her piece is amazing. Go read it.