Mary Mulvihill wins science journalist award


Mary Mulvihill has been named Science and Technology Journalist of the Year for 2002-2003.

The judges of the Science and Technology Journalism Awards said her book Ingenious Ireland, published by Townhouse, was an outstanding work.

"A unique and fascinating look at the lesser-known attractions of noted Irish scientists and the Irish landscape, Ingenious Ireland, is a meticulously researched and hugely impressive book.

"The scope of the author's knowledge, her clear love of science and her ability to unravel those mysteries that Nature has thrown up, is clearly evident throughout this impressive work. She is being honoured for the sheer scale of her understanding of science and her talent as a journalist," the panel stated.

The awards were presented by the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment, Ms Harney, at a ceremony in Dublin yesterday.

She said she hoped the awards, backed by IBM and Forfás, "can play an important role in encouraging the expansion of coverage of science and technology issues across the full range of media outlets."

"We want not just to see increased coverage in the print, broadcast and electronic media at a national level, but throughout local media outlets as well.

"Whilst considerable progress has been made, many challenges still lie ahead - there are different levels of scientific awareness between the genders, between urban/rural communities, as well as between different classes and ages."

The broadcast award went to Tara Peterman and Mike Milotte, for a two-part RTÉ Prime Time production entitled Food for Thought and Money to Burn, which uncovered disturbing facts about BSE in Ireland - most notably that despite having just 1,000 official cases of BSE in Ireland, over 20,000 BSE-infected Irish cattle have entered the human food chain.

The panel of judges considered this in-depth investigation as current affairs at its best.

The overall winner in the print category was an article called Sight for the blind, published in Technology Ireland by Tom Kennedy.

The article explained how light-sensitive microchips are helping to restore vision to the blind.

Runner-up in the print category was Linda McKee for Bat squeaks are music to the ears of scientists, published in The Impartial Reporter.