Bragg UNSW Press Prize for Science Writing


The Bragg UNSW Press Prize for Science Writing was established in 2012 to recognise excellence in Australian science writing. 

The annual prize of $7000 is awarded to the best short non-fiction piece of science writing aimed at a general audience. Two runners up are awarded $1500 each. 

The UNSW Bragg Student Prize for Science Writing is an initiative of UNSW Press, UNSW Science and Refraction Media, and is designed to encourage and celebrate the next generation of science writers, researchers and leaders, with prize vouchers of $500 and $250 for the winner and two runners-up.

The prize is named in honour of Australia’s first Nobel Laureates, father and son team William Henry Bragg and William Lawrence Bragg.

The prize is supported by the Copyright Agency Cultural Fund. 

An associated anthology, The Best Australian Science Writing (NewSouth Publishing) collects the best of the year’s science writing.

The 2019 Bragg UNSW Press Prize for Science Writing will be awarded on 7 November.


2018 Winner & Runners Up

Dr Andrew Leigh MP

Winner for From bloodletting to placebo surgery 

Jo Chandler 

Runner Up for Amid fear and guns, polio finds a refuge

Margaret Wertheim 

Runner Up for Radical Dimensions


2018 Student Winner & Runners Up

Preethika Mathan

Year 7 Santa Sabina College Winner for I-Care

Coco Dwyer and Ruby Mumford

Year 10 Star of the Sea College Runner Ups for Technology is not only all around us, it’s inside us

Sienna Ters

Year 8 Santa Sabina College Runner Up for Celebrating 40 years of MRI technology, and why we need it more than ever


2017 Winner & Runners Up

Dr Alice Gorman 

Winner for Trace fossils: the silence of Ediacara, the shadow of uranium 

Jo Chandler

Runner Up for Grave Barrier Reef 

Elmo Keep

Runnner Up for The Pyramid at the end of the world


2017 Student Winner & Runners Up

Sam Jones

Year 7 Kedron State High School Winner for It’s what’s on the inside that counts

Ebony Wallin

Year 9 Dalyellup College Runner Up for The very hungry caterpillars

Carol Ge

Year 9 Radford College Runner Up for The fate of the Great Barrier Reef


2016 Winner & Runners Up

Ashley Hay 

Winner for The Forest at the Edge of Time

Susan Double

Runner Up for Beautiful contrivances

Fiona McMillan

Runner Up for Lucy’s lullaby: Song for the ages


2016 Student Winner & Runners Up

Marissa Petrakis

Year 10 Meriden School Winner for From here to the stars: discovering supernovae

Gemma Macauley-Black

Year 8 Frensham Runner Up for Can you hear me?

Chelsy Teng

Year 9 James Ruse Agricultural High School Runner Up for An innovative instrument: the scanning tunnelling microscope


2015 Winner & Runners Up

Christine Kenneally

Winner for The past may not make you feel any better

Idan Ben-Barak 

Runner Up for Why aren't we dead yet?

Trent Dalton 

Runner Up for Beating the odds


2015 Inaugural Student Winner & Runners Up

Jessica Kitchen

Winner for A pendulum conundrum

Holly Reid

Runner Up for Lighting up the universe: what a flame test reveals

Priya Soni

Runner Up for X-rays - superpowers brought to life


2014 Winner & Runners Up

Jo Chandler

Winner for TB and me: A medical souvenir

Frank Bowden

Runner Up for Eleven grams of trouble

Peter Meredith

Runner Up for Weathering the storm


2013 Winner & Runners Up

Professor Fred Watson

Winner for Here come the ubernerds: Planets, Pluto and Prague

Professor Chris Turney

Runner Up for Martyrs to Gondwanaland: The cost of scientific exploration 

Gina Perry

Runner Up for Beyond the shock machine


2012 Winner & Runners Up

Jo Chandler

Winner for Storm front

Ashley Hay

Runner Up for The Aussie Mozzie Posse

Peter McAllister

Runner Up for The Evolution of the Inadequate Modern Male




Kathy Bail, Sienna Ters, Preethika Mathan, Dr Andrew Leigh and Jo Chandler



Ebony Wallin, Professor Emma Johnston, Sam Jones, Margaret Wertheim, Jo Chandler, Dr Alice Gorman, Carol Ge



Ashley Hay and Professor Fiona Stanley 
(Image: Matthew Vasilescu)



Idan Ben-Barak, Trent Dalton & Bianca Nogrady

Priya Soni, Professor Ian Jacobs & Jessica Kitchen



Jo Chandler and David Gonski AC



Professor The Honourable Dame Marie Bashir AD, CVO & Professor Fred Watson



L-R: Elizabeth Finkel, Professor Merlin Crossley, Jane McCredie, Professor Ian Chubb AC, Ashley Hay, Peter McAllister and Kathy Bail.

Elizabeth Finkel & Professor Ian Chubb AC