Skip to main content
Public Engagement

Media Relations Awards 2018

Best Opinion/Comment Piece 

This award is given to an academic who has written a persuasive and engaging piece which helps to shape public opinion or presents a unique analysis of their research.



Dr Martin Archer, School of Physics and Astronomy

Coinciding with the film ‘Rogue One: A Star Wars Story’ this piece, published in The Conversation, investigated how we might be able to build a space station like the Death Star using plasma physics, Dyson spheres and wonder materials.



Dr Bob Sturm, School of Electronic Engineering and Computer Science

What will become of music if machines are capable of composing it? Bob Sturm and Oded Ben-Tal explored this question in The Conversation, discussing his research into artificial intelligence (AI) that can write folk music. His work showed the potential for AI augmenting human creativity, and opening new avenues for music practice.


Professor Alastair Owens, School of Geography

Alastair’s research investigated the hidden story of how Britain financed the First World War. As part of a wide media relations campaign, he published an op ed on Bank Underground – the Bank of England’s blog site, widely read by the Bank’s staff, financial journalists and the wider public.

Best Published Research Campaign 

This award is given to an academic who has worked with the PR team to develop a successful media campaign for a research paper published in a peer-reviewed journal.



Kawther Hashem and Sonia Pombo, Wolfson Institute of Preventive Medicine

The Action on Sugar team investigated the salt and sugar content of breakfast cereals. They found that sugar content remains alarmingly high with a typical serving containing a third of a child’s maximum daily recommendation. They were interviewed live on Sky News, with coverage in major national newspapers.



Professor Adrian Martineau, Blizard Institute

Vitamin D – the ‘sunshine vitamin’ – is best known for improving bone health. New evidence indicates it can also protect against lung infections. Pooling data from around 11,000 participants from 14 countries, Professor Martineau showed that protective effects of vitamin D supplementation are strongest in those who have the lowest levels. 


Dr Clint Perry, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Dr Clint Perry and his team demonstrated that bumblebees can be trained to score goals using a mini-ball, revealing unprecedented learning abilities. Their work was covered in TV, radio and print across the globe, appearing in Australia, Brazil, UK, Canada, US, South Africa, Qatar, China, New Zealand, Japan, Ireland.

Queen Mary University of London Rising star 

This award is given to a PhD candidate or early career researcher who has established a media profile in recent years through their research at Queen Mary.



Dr Jessica Potter, Blizard Institute

Jessica Potter is a doctor and public health researcher, looking at how migrants access healthcare. Believing that healthcare is a human right, Jess raises the profile of these issues with regular media work. She writes and comments about NHS policy for The Guardian and Independent and gives BBC TV and radio interviews.



Dr Clint Perry, School of Biological and Chemical Sciences

Dr Clint Perry’s research into bee behaviour and cognition - including papers on training bees to score goals and looking into why some bees are smarter than others - attracted huge international media coverage over the past two years and led to TV, radio and newspaper interviews.


Norma Cohen, School of Geography

Norma uncovered for the first time that the British government’s initial efforts to pay for World War One through loans from the public was a spectacular failure. Her investigation showed that the War Loan scheme failed to such an extent that the Bank of England had to secretly fund half the shortfall.