At the programme launch of the British Science Festival 2016 (which is now live at, the British Science Association announced the 2016 winners of its prestigious Award Lectures.

Seven top UK researchers have been recognised for their cutting-edge research after a competitive selection process. 

They will join an illustrious group of Award Lecture recipients, which include Professor Brian Cox (winner in 2006) Maggie Aderin-Pocock (2008) and Richard Wiseman (2002). 

In 2017 the BSA's Award Lectures will be on tour, visiting science festivals throughout the length of the United Kingdom. Please click here to find out more information on the BSA's Award Lectures on tour.  

The 2016 winners

* The Daphne Oram Award Lecture for Digital Innovation was awarded to Dr Rebecca Stewart (Queen Mary University of London)

* The Charles Darwin Award Lecture for Agricultural, Biological and Medical Sciences was awarded to Dr Carolyn McGettigan (Royal Holloway, University of London)

* The Rosalind Franklin Award Lecture for Physical Sciences and Mathematics was awarded to Dr Adam Kucharski (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine) 

* The Charles Lyell Award Lecture for Environmental Sciences was awarded to Dr Tamsin Edwards (Open University)

* The Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award Lecture for Engineering, Technology and Industry was awarded to Dr Rob Malkin (University of Bristol)

* The Margaret Mead Award Lecture for Social Sciences, supported by the Learned Society of Wales, was awarded to Dr Sarah Bate (Bournemouth University) 

* The Jacob Bronowski Award Lecture for Science and the Arts, supported by the Learned Society of Wales, was awarded to Dr Daisy Fancourt (Royal College of Music)

Each of the Award Lecture winners will be celebrated at the British Science Festival in Swansea, where they will give a special talk 

About their research

Rebecca Stewart will discuss the rise of e-textiles. Imagine a piece of fabric that could be tapped or swiped like a touch screen. She explores how e-textiles like this could change the way we interact with the world around us.

Carolyn McGettigan will illustrate how our understanding of the biology and evolution of the human voice has been opened up by techniques such as MRI scanning.

Adam Kucharski will share his experience in working to understand new disease threats, from Ebola to pandemic flu.

Tamsin Edwards used 3,000 different computer models of Antarctica to give a range of predictions on climate change and the melting ice caps. She will discuss some of the challenges of predicting the probability of the collapse of the ice sheet and how she communicates uncertainty.

Rob Malkin will show how studying insects with fascinating hearing organs could hold the key to helping us build bio-inspired acoustic devices.

Sarah Bate explains the phenomenon of 'super-recognisers' and how she is working with the police to identify them amongst the force.

Daisy Fancourt looks at how music affects the inner workings of the body. With the help of the Tenovus Cancer Care choir, she will explore the impact of music on the mind and body, and consider its potential bio-evolutionary origins.

Ivvet Modinou, Head of Engagement at the BSA, said: “The Award Lectures give our winners a fantastic opportunity to showcase their abilities to communicate their work and allow audiences to access and engage with active research. We received a huge number of fantastic nominations this year so it was an incredibly difficult selection process. I am extremely pleased with our winners and look forward to working with them in Swansea and beyond.” 

Presented at the British Science Festival

The Award Lectures have been presented at the British Science Festival since 1990, with the aim of promoting frontline research being carried out in the UK by early-career scientists, and recognizing their excellent communication skills.  

 The Festival will take place later from Tuesday 6 to Friday 9 September, hosted by Swansea University with over 120 events on campus and throughout the city.  It provides an opportunity to meet researchers face-to-face and discuss cutting-edge research, innovation and ideas in science, technology and engineering. The Festival is supported by Siemens, and is followed by a Family Weekend of hands-on science  fun on 10 and 11 September at the Waterfront Museum in Swansea.