Category A (professional scientists of postgraduate level and above)
Winner - 'The revenge of the Americas', by Katherine Wright
Highly commended - 'Fighting fit - or dieting into defeat? The secret study behind Britain's food rationing in World War II', by Laura Dawes
Category B (anyone with a non-professional interest, including undergraduates)
Winner - 'A stroke of genius', by Patrick Russell
Highly commended - 'Echoes in the Sand', by Josh Davis
At the awards ceremony, which took place at Kings Place, London, home of the 'Guardian' and 'Observer', judges Maggie Philbin and Helen Czerski presented each of the winners with a trophy and a £1000 prize. Over the coming months, the winning articles will be published in the 'Guardian' and/or 'Observer' and on the Wellcome Trust blog.
James Randerson, assistant national news editor at the 'Guardian', said: "The calibre of this year's entries was very high and included some fascinating tales told with great skill, intelligence and passion. There was also an impressive variety of topics, ranging from medicine and palaeontology to fluid dynamics and astronomy. I hope the winners and all those shortlisted go on to use their talents to keep writing and to enrich the national conversation about science."
Hilary Leevers, Head of Education and Learning at the Wellcome Trust and one of this year's judges, said: "Science really excites and inspires people - this was clear from the number and quality of the entries this year. Although it takes real skill to craft a piece that will win the Science Writing Prize, it was great to see so many entries that tackled challenging science in an informative, entertaining and above all well-written manner."