18 Jul 2012
The MRC Max Perutz Science Writing Award for early-career researchers is now in its 15th year. As we announce the shortlist for the 2012 competition, one shortlister reflects on the process.
A few weeks ago, I briefly swapped my job as a science writer to become a science reader, reading all 119 entries for the Max Perutz Award, which this year asked the entrants to answer the question ‘Why does my research matter?
For 10 days I carried a bundle of articles around with me, delving into them on park benches, at my desk, over coffee and on the bus.
Some entrants, those that have made it on to the shortlist that we’re announcing today, made their research leap off the page, combining arguments about the necessity of their research with lively prose and a great use of imagery. As my buses trundled through London, I imagined proteins whizzing around cells, viruses coursing around bodies, the tragic slide of minds and bodies into disease. Some people focused solely on their research, while others brought themselves into the stories, describing their thoughts and feelings about their work. [...]