UNSW Chancellor David Gonski AC will lead a celebration of the year's finest Australian science writing, launching an anthology and presenting the Bragg UNSW Press Prize for Science Writing on Thursday 6 November.

The Best Australian Science Writing 2014 is the fourth in an acclaimed series of anthologies published by UNSW Press' imprint NewSouth, which feature short, non-fiction pieces of writing that showcase the enormously varied and fascinating world of science and research.

This year’s collection is edited by award-winning author Ashley Hay and covers topics as diverse as Sydney’s orb spiders, prostate cancer diagnosis, storm chasing in the Northern Territory, quantum physics, organic farming, climate science, jellyfish blooms, the lumpy universe and the creation of a dragon.

Among the authors are prominent scientists, writers and journalists including UNSW’s Professor Rob Brooks, Professor Frank Bowden, Professor Tim Flannery, Professor Iain McCalman, Jo Chandler, Richard Guilliatt, Nicky Phillips, Trent Dalton and many others.

The annual Bragg UNSW Press Prize for Science Writing recognises the best piece of writing and is named in honour of Australia’s first Nobel laureates, William Henry Bragg and his son William Lawrence Bragg. It is supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

First Prize is $7000 and two runners-up will receive a prize of $1500 each.

UNSW Dean of Science, Professor Merlin Crossley, will speak at the event, and after the prize ceremony there will be a panel discussion on the topic: Does science give us our best chance for a desirable future?

The 2014 shortlist is:

Frank Bowden: Eleven grams of trouble (Inside Story)

Jo Chandler: TB and me: A medical souvenir (The Global Mail)

Peter Meredith: Weathering the storm (Australian Geographic)

James Mitchell Crow: Is there room for organics?  (Cosmos)

Stephen Pincock: The quantum spinmeister: Professor Andrea Morello (Cosmos)

What: Launch of The Best Australian Science Writing 2014 and presentation of The Bragg UNSW Press Prize for Science Writing

When: Thursday 6 November, 5.45 to 7.30 pm

Where: UNSW CBD Campus, 1 O’Connell St, Sydney

Media Contact: UNSW Science media officer Deborah Smith: 9385 7307, 0478 492 060, deborah.smith@unsw.edu.au

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