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Wednesday, 19 March 2008

ABSW Science Writing Awards 2007 Cancelled

It is with great regret that the ABSW must announce that, having failed to secure sufficient sponsorship for the 41st (2007) Science Writers' Awards, the Awards have had to be cancelled this year. They were, until last year, sponsored by Syngenta.

However, hopes remain high that the Awards Scheme will be successfully re-launched in 2009, when the World Conference of Science Journalism comes to London. The Awards for 2008, which will be presented in 2009, will also apply to materials created in 2007 - so that writers who remain particularly proud of a piece of work that they did last year will still be able to submit it for consideration.

Ted Nield, Chair of the ABSW and of the Judging Panel for the Awards, said: "Running these awards costs a large amount of money. Our last hope of obtaining sufficient sponsorship was snuffed out yesterday morning, and in view of the level of interest in the subject we are losing no time in telling people the sad news. We apologise if members have felt frustrated at the apparent lack of communication until now, but negotiations have been sensitive.

"These Awards, which we have been running uninterrupted since 1967, are the "Oscars" of science writing, and have served as a model for similar schemes all over the world. However, despite gargantuan efforts by Claire Jowett, Barbie Drillsma and the ABSW Committee to find new patrons for them, we have hit a brick wall. As the ABSW does not have the reserves to run the scheme without a sponsor, we have no choice but to cancel, despite several pledges of smaller amounts of funding, for which we are very grateful. We thank our supporters for their understanding."

"However, with the advent of the World Conference of Science Journalism in London next year, we have received strong indications that there is significant interest in sponsoring the Awards in 2009. In fact, a number have already indicated that they would be interested. So watch out for news of a re-vitalised, re-launched Awards scheme towards the end of 2008.

"And if you have just written the best piece of your career and are gutted that there won't be an awards scheme in which to enter it – fear not. The Awards presented in 2009 will extend their reach to two years (2007 and 2008) instead of the usual one."