The British Science Association (BSA) has announced the winners of its prestigious Award Lectures for 2018. Seven top UK researchers have been recognised for their innovative work and engaging communication skills, following a competitive selection process.

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

The winners and their respective Awards are as follows

The Daphne Oram Award Lecture for Digital Innovation was awarded to: Dr Claire Burke (Liverpool John Moores University)

The Charles Darwin Award Lecture for Agricultural, Biological and Medical Sciences was awarded to: Dr Emma Yhnell (Cardiff University)

The Rosalind Franklin Award Lecture for Physical Sciences and Mathematics was awarded to: Dr Laura Bonnett (University of Liverpool)

The Charles Lyell Award Lecture for Environmental Sciences was awarded to: Dr Heidi Burdett (Heriot-Watt University)

The Isambard Kingdom Brunel Award Lecture for Engineering, Technology and Industry was awarded to: Dr Gemma Bale (University College London)

The Margaret Mead Award Lecture for Social Sciences was awarded to: Dr Oli Williams (University of Leicester) 

The Jacob Bronowski Award Lecture for Science and the Arts was awarded to: Dr Mirjam Brusius (German Historical Institute London/University of Oxford)

Audience members participate in one of last year's Award Lectures in Brighton: Can you feel the music?

Each Award Lecture winner will be celebrated at the British Science Festival in Hull, where they will give a special talk about their innovative research.

Claire Burke will present her pioneering field of astroecology, which combines astronomy and drone technology to detect animals in real-time, during the day or night. She will detail how this innovative technique can be used to prevent extinctions.

Emma Yhnell will reveal how she continually pushes the boundaries in her field of Huntington's disease research. She will celebrate the successes of using brain-training to advocate for public and patient involvement in research and consider the challenges of searching for Huntington's treatments.

Laura Bonnett will talk about how her work made huge shifts in the law, influencing the DVLA to change their driving rules for people with epilepsy. She will explore ‘risk’ and share her experience of the life-changing applications that statistics has in epilepsy research.

Heidi Burdett will detail her race against the clock in saving coral reefs from rising sea temperatures. She will reveal how their resilience mechanisms are providing a glimmer of hope for their future.

Gemma Bale will discuss the hugely important topic of brain injury in newborns, which is a leading cause of infant mortality. She will showcase her pioneering work applying an infrared light technique to monitor baby’s brains, which is giving hope to the lives of many affected families.

Oli Williams will reveal how he's changing public health for the better. He will explore the link between socioeconomic inequality and the "obesity epidemic", examining the current weight-based stigma and how this is impacting the most vulnerable in society.

Mirjam Brusius will focus on a novel idea: photographs as a scientific tool. She will explain how photographs can ‘lie’ and divulge as to why so many scientists trust photography, and how this trust has developed.

Ivvet Modinou, Head of Engagement at the BSA, said: “We're delighted to announce this year's cohort of Award Lecturers. They're a hugely talented group who are at the forefront of their fields and who bring their research out from the labs and into the public domain, for everyone to share, learn from and enjoy. We received many high-quality applications, which made the decision process extremely tough. I wish them the best of luck for the coming year and I look forward to working with them all and hearing their fabulous talks at the British Science Festival this September.”

The Award Lectures have been presented at the British Science Festival since 1990. They celebrate and promote front line research being carried out in the UK by talented early-career scientists. The Awards recognise researchers’ excellent communication skills and their ability to demonstrate the social and societal aspects of their work.

This year’s British Science Festival will take place later from Tuesday 11 to Friday 14 September, hosted by the University of Hull, with over 100 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.

All events are free, but booking is required, as spaces are limited. Booking is now open at: