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NUJ Stephen White Award goes to Oxford physicist

21 June 2013

The Association of British Science Writers' annual NUJ Stephen White Award for best communication of science in a non-science context was won by Frank Close, Professor of Physics at the University of Oxford. His lyrical and sweeping description of a total solar eclipse, "Sun block", appeared in Prospect magazine in January.

The £500 award was presented on behalf of the NUJ at a reception at the Royal Society, London, by Pete Wrobel, who had known and worked with Stephen. Stephen White died suddenly and tragically in August 2010.

Stephen's widow, who had endowed the award and presented it last year, was unable to attend this time.

Pete Wrobel introduced the award by reminding the audience of Stephen's enormous achievements in science PR, including being the driving force behind the setting up STEMPRA (the Science, Technology, Engineering and Medicine PR Association) in 1987, and of his commitment to the NUJ.

Pete Wrobel said:

"It was an honour for me to present this award. Stephen's contribution to the profession was immense, and should not be forgotten. And it was a double pleasure that it went this year to Frank Close, whom I fondly remember editing – not that he needed it – when I worked at New Scientist in the early 1990s."

It is the third time Professor Close has won one of the Association's science writing awards.

The Association's award for 'Lifetime Achievement in Science Journalism' went to Dick Ahlstrom, Science Editor of the Irish Times.

A full list of winners is available on the website of the Association of British Science Writers Science Writers’ Awards for Britain and Ireland

Tags: , Stephen White, magazines, newspapers, science journalism