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PhD student wins science writer award for article on sex differences in the brain

Julia Gottwald won the Best Student Science Journalist Award for her article entitled 'Does your brain have a sex?' which was published by BlueSci, the Cambridge University Science Magazine, Easter 2016.

Julia Gottwald, a fourth year PhD student at the Department of Psychiatry and a member of St John’s College, shows in her winning article that human male and female brains are moresimilar than we think.

The Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), founded in 1947, was established to help those who write about science and technology, and to improve the standard of science journalism in the UK. The ABSW Awards are sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Innovation, and the Best Student Scientist Journalist award is a new award for 2017; other categories include best news item, best investigative journalism, and lifetime achievement in science journalism. Julia’s entry was one of 228 entries in total which were considered by the independent panel of science journalists and science communicators. The entries were judged on originality, appeal to a broad audience, novelty of subject matter, likely impact, style, content, entertainment, balance, and depth of reporting.

Much of Julia’s own research work focuses on obsessive-compulsive disorder, and cognitive processes in adolescents suffering from the condition. In 2014 Julia was shortlisted for the Max Perutz Science Writing Award for her article about OCD. Earlier this year Julia and co-writer Barbara Sahakian, Professor of Clinical Neuropsychology, released a book, Sex, Lies and Brain Scans, which can be found on Amazon, and focuses on how functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) reveals what really goes on in our minds.

Mico Tatalovic, Chair of the judging panel, ABSW Chair, and Environment News Editor of New Scientist, said, “This has been a great year for quality of entries, and I’ve enjoyed immensely chairing the judging panel and discussing the winners with the other judges.  The entries, shortlists and winners demonstrate the strength of science journalism in the UK and Ireland today, which is undoubtedly some of the best in the world.” The judges said of Julia’s article, “Julia is a natural story-teller who wrote confidently and with some originality about the complexities of our brains.”


Posted on 24/07/2017

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