The winners of the 2014 awards are:
Category A (professional scientists of postgraduate level and above)
• 'Don't say cheese, say cheeks', by Richard Stephens
Category B (anyone with a non-professional interest in science, including undergraduates)
• 'Prosopagnosia - a common problem, commonly overlooked', by Kate Szell
Richard and Kate were each presented with a trophy and a £1,000 prize by materials scientist and broadcaster Mark Miodownik, and their winning articles will be published in the 'Guardian' and/or 'Observer', as well as on the Wellcome Trust blog.
Nicola Davis, Commissioning Editor of the 'Observer Tech Monthly', said: "This year's entrants dived into topics ranging from comets to flossing, with energy, ambition and humour. Congratulations to the winners, and all those shortlisted - we hope they all continue to use their skills to bring intriguing and important scientific ideas to a wide audience."
Mark Henderson, Head of Communications at the Wellcome Trust and Editorial Director of its new science publication Mosaic, said: "Curiosity about science and engagement with new developments should not be limited to those with specialist knowledge. Science writers and journalists play a key role in making complex stories and issues compelling for everyone, while remaining accurate and true to the research they describe. We know that this year's winners provide an inspiring opportunity for the next generation of talented and responsible science writers."
Now in its fourth year, the annual award invites non-professional science writers based in the UK to submit short articles of no more than 800 words that address an area of science in an accessible way. Previous winners have written about the origins of syphilis(opens in a new tab), retraining the brains of stroke survivors(opens in a new tab) and the importance of estimates(opens in a new tab).
This year’s judging panel was made up of: Mark Miodownik, materials scientist and broadcaster; Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust; Sophie Scott, Group Leader of the Speech Communication Group at the Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience; Anjana Ahuja, freelance science journalist, recently awarded Science Commentator of the Year at the Editorial Intelligence Comment Awards; Nicola Davis, Commissioning Editor of the 'Observer Tech Monthly'; and Ian Sample, Science Correspondent for the 'Guardian'.
Guardian News and Media is the publisher of the 'Guardian', the 'Observer', guardian.co.uk and guardiannews.com. It is the core business of Guardian Media Group, which is wholly owned by The Scott Trust Ltd, the purpose of which is to secure the financial and editorial independence of the 'Guardian' in perpetuity.
Mosaic(opens in a new tab) is a free-to-access publisher of in-depth stories on the science of life. Proudly published by the Wellcome Trust, it explores new trends and emerging themes in biomedical science and its historical and cultural context. Each week, Mosaic provides depth and context to a subject through compelling narrative-based feature articles and film. Mosaic encourages open interaction between writers, editors and readers through its stories, blog and social media. All its content is free to reproduce and distribute.
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust's breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests.