The European Federation for Science Journalism reveals the 2023 shortlist for its prestigious European Science Journalist of the Year award.
The award recognises and promotes excellence and innovation in science journalism across Europe, with nominations coming from national science journalism associations as well as individuals.
The award is run by EFSJ, with support from Elsevier.
The winner and runners-up will be announced at an awards ceremony held on 25 October 2023 in Freiburg, Germany, at the German Science Journalism Association meeting.
The finalists for the 2023 awards are, in alphabetical order:
Dániel Bolcsó, Hungary –
Dániel Bolcsó is a journalist and editor at Hungarian news site Telex.hu. Dániel has been a journalist since 2014, first at Index.hu and since 2020 at Telex.hu, primarily covering issues related to science and technology. Despite dealing primarily with natural sciences and health topics, he has an educational background in the humanities. In recent years Dániel’s work has been recognized with, among others, the Endre Hevesi Award for Science Journalism and the Journalist Award of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.
Niki Korteweg, The Netherlands – nominated by the Dutch Association for Science Journalism and Communication (VWN) –
Niki Korteweg is a science journalist for the Dutch major daily newspaper NRC. As a staff writer, she reports about new insights in medical sciences and regularly appears in the NRC science podcast Onbehaarde Apen (hairless monkeys), and in the podcast Vandaag (today) about prominent daily news.
In 2000 she earned a PhD in molecular neurobiology. After working as a science communicator at the Unilever Health Institute in The Netherlands, she turned to freelance science journalism in 2002. She has written for NRC and many other outlets. In September 2019 she became a staff writer at NRC. She has also published two well-received books, ‘De oorsprong’ (2004) about the origins of life and everything around it, and ‘Een beter brein’ (2017), about brain enhancement from traditional to technological, and in 2023, Niki was awarded the annual publication prize of the Dutch Association for Science Journalism and Communication for the best production in science journalism in 2022, the ‘Gouden Beitel’ award, for her article, Angstig brein aan de lader (Anxious brain on the charger).
Lea Udovč, Slovenia – nominated by the Balkan Network of Science Journalists –
Lea Udovč is a journalist, science editor and head of the video department at the Slovenian press agency (Slovenska tiskovna agencija; short: STA), and Lea also wrote long features and weekly reportage when working at the N1 media, CNN’s affiliate partner for the Balkan region. Over the years, Lea has become intensely engaged in the video aspect of journalistic production leading her to become the head of the newly formed STA video department.
Lea’s journalistic work encompasses interviews and in-depth stories on various topics ranging from medicine, astrophysics, technology, energy, neuroscience, environment, biology to history, geography, gender and sexuality. She has conducted and published several high-profile interviews with some of the most prominent names in science, namely Nobel Laureates like Stanley Whittingham, John C. Mather and Rainer Weiss, the “father of the internet” Vinton Cerf, astronaut Chris Hadfield etc. Her work has been acknowledged in Slovenia and elsewhere, becoming a finalist for the European science writer of the year award and awarded a National Debutant Award by the Association of Slovenian Journalists, both in 2018. Apart from her editorial duties, she passes her knowledge to younger generations as a guest lecturer in science journalism courses at the Faculty of Social Sciences at the Ljubljana University and International Graduate School of the Jožef Stefan Institute.
Krijn Soeteman, President of the EFSJ, said: “A competition between the best of European science journalists is always hard as there are so many topics one can publish about in many different formats. Fortunately some of the work is already done by national associations of science journalists. Also there’s always a small group of journalists coming from countries in Europe without their own national associations, in this case two countries: Hungary and Slovenia. The other runner-up is from The Netherlands and won the Dutch award for science journalism. I am really curious who will win this time and am looking forward to the award ceremony in Germany”.
The award was founded in 2014 by the Association of British Science Writers and has been organised by the European Federation for Science Journalism since 2020. Previous winners, awarded at major events such as the World Conference of Science Journalists, and European Conference of Science Journalism, came from Croatia, Germany, Slovenia, Spain, Russia, the Netherlands, and the UK.
This year’s qualifying submissions came from a variety of EU countries and beyond, as has become usual for this pan-European award that highlights excellent journalism regardless where it’s done or what languages it was originally published in.
The judging panel was made up of distinguished members of the profession from different countries, and with expertise in diverse areas of science journalism.
The first-place winner will be awarded a prize of 1,000 Euro. Second and third-place winners will be awarded 500 Euro each.
Watch this space! We’ll announce the winner and runners up on 25 October 2023.