Enter the New Scientist Prize for Science Writing

27 August 2010

Write a feature article about a scientific issue or fascinating piece of research, or express your opinion on a current scientific issue, and you could win a share of $2 500 plus the chance to be published in New Scientist online.

An initiative of the University of Sydney Science Society (SciSoc) and sponsored by New Scientist, the competition is open to students studying at an Australian university in any discipline.

Michael West, the Policy Officer for SciSoc and a current Physics Honours student completing his Bachelor of Science / Bachelor of Engineering degrees, came up with the idea of the science writing competition to encourage students to articulate their thoughts on scientific issues.

"SciSoc set up our policy program last year, aiming to encourage science students to think about the applications of their degree outside of the lab," said Michael.

"Science is vitally important to so many areas - whether or not students intend on pursuing an academic career, they should be considering the role of science in the world around them."

Entries are due by 24 September 2010 and there are three fantastic cash prizes on offer:

  • 1st prize: $1500, published on, and a one-year subscription to New Scientist magazine
  • 2nd prize: $750 and a one-year subscription to New Scientist magazine
  • 3rd prize: $250 and a one-year subscription to New Scientist magazine.

Three leading science communicators are the judges of the competition: Dr Karl Kruszelnicki - science guru, media personality and Julius Sumner Miller Fellow at the University of Sydney; Dr Roger Highfield - global editor of New Scientist magazine, who has previously written for the UK Daily Telegraph, The Economist and Esquire; and Lyndal Byford - Media Manager at the Australian Science Media Centre.

So apart from the fabulous prizes, the chance to be published by New Scientist, and exposure to professional science communicators, why enter this science writing competition?

"Quality writing is a key tool in sharing the excitement of science, distilling complex ideas into a form that everyone can understand and marvel at. It's also important for contributing to public debate on science-related issues - newspaper editorial pages shouldn't only be the territory of politicians and economists," explained Michael.

"The New Scientist Prize for Science Writing gives students the opportunity to develop these skills. Plus, there are hefty cash prizes!" said Michael.

Michael is no stranger to science writing competitions himself, having won two competitions this year: the University of Sydney SydneyTalent Opinion Editorial Competition on the topic of Arts vs Science (Michael argued the case for Science, of course!), and a contest run by the Global21 Foundation, based at Yale University and having a chapter at the University of Sydney, which asked students to predict what life would be like in 2021 (Michael wrote about the direct impacts of innovation, technology and global trends on our lives).

Read more about the New Scientist Prize for Science Writing and enter at:

Contact: Katynna Gill

Phone: 02 9351 6997

Email: 0d120e523e0f0a463d42341879190f3326341c460f20036d0540