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Biochemist announced as winner of BBC science writing competition

4 August 2015

Emily Coyte, an assistant teacher from the School of Biochemistry, is one of the winners of an international science writing competition run in conjunction with BBC Focus magazine.

Aspiring writers were invited to submit a 700-word article on ‘The science that will transform our future’ under two categories: ‘20 and under’ and ‘Over 21’.

The prize in the ‘Over 21’ category was awarded to 24-year-old Emily Coyte from the University of Bristol’s School of Biochemistry for her essay ‘The spectrum in your pocket’. Coyte’s article focused on the development of tiny spectrometers we could carry in our pockets that could be used to detect what’s inside everything, from a glass of wine to a pill we’re about to take.

The winning entries will have their articles published in BBC Focus magazine and spend a week with the team learning how the magazine is produced. They will also have the chance to take science writing classes at the University of the West of England (UWE).

The panel of judges comprised Andy Ridgway and Dr Emma Weitkamp, from UWE Bristol’s Science Communication Unit, Graham Southorn, former editor of BBC Focus magazine, and David Shukman, the BBC's Science Editor.

The judges said: ‘Emily’s choice of topic is original and she wrote about it with credibility and authority; she made a convincing case that this is technology we should sit up and pay attention to. She does this while explaining the science beautifully. Emily is clearly a talented writer.’

Andy Ridgway added: ‘Our aim in setting up this competition was to showcase the wealth of new science writing talent out there, and the response has been phenomenal. We’ve received entries from Sri Lanka, Egypt, the US, Canada, Australia, Pakistan and across the UK.’

For a full list of the winners, runners up and work that was highly commended, please visit the competition website.

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