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The Royal Society of Biology held its Annual Awards Ceremony at Carlton House Terrace to celebrate RSB competition and award winners, such as the Photography Competition and Outreach and Engagement awards.

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Professor Sir Ian Boyd FRSB, RSB president, welcoming guests

Professor Sir Ian Boyd FRSB, RSB president, kicked off the event by welcoming attendees, saying: “At RSB, we want to be right at the centre of biology, making sure we have the very best people supporting the best possible way in order to solve global problems. One of the purposes of RSB is to promote excellence in biology and tonight, we are celebrating that excellence.”

Tim Pond, illustrator and author, and judge of the Nancy Rothwell Award, then presented winners with their prizes for their outstanding artwork capturing the anatomy of plants and animals.

The award had three age categories, with Jisoo Yang from Creative Art Avenue in Seoul, South Korea, winning the 7-11 category. Meghan Wan So from Roedean School in Brighton won the 12-14 category and Tom Chun Wang Kwok from Tonbridge School in Tonbridge won the 15-18 category.


Jisoo Yang holding his Nancy Rothwell certificate in front of his seahorse drawing

Four apprentices were also recognised as exceptional in their fields as part of the RSB’s Apprentice of the Year award, their prizes presented by Dr Jacqui Piner FRSB.

Apprentice of the Year Award for Group 1 went to Olivia Waugh, a laboratory technician apprentice at the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI). Olivia has been recognised for her initiative to learn, and providing inspiration and training for other apprentices.

Apprentice of the Year Award for Group 2 was presented to Tyler Harvey-Cowlishaw AMRSB, a laboratory scientist apprentice at the University of Nottingham. Tyler received the award in recognition for her leadership skills, and representing apprentices outside her direct area of work.

Alongside Olivia and Tyler, two apprentices were recognised as Highly Commended – Mohammed Hussain at University of Leeds, and Molly Robinson at GlaxoSmithKline.


George Lanstone-Futcher, Young Photographer of the Year standing next to his Puffin photo with his father

Linda Pitkin MRSB, underwater photographer, and judge for the RSB Photography Competition, presented the shortlisted and winning photos, submitted for this year’s competition theme of ‘Communication’.

The Young Photographer of the Year award was won by 11-year-old George Lanstone-Futcher with his photo of puffins.

The Photographer of the Year Award was won by Agnieszka Florczyk, who took a photo of two Red-necked Grebe’s during mating season in Poland.

Commenting on the competition, Linda said: “It is always a great privilege and pleasure for us judges to get together and look at photographs, it’s something we love doing. It’s great to the see the different ways photographers have chosen to portray the subjects of their photos.”


Charles Gill MRSB (right) standing with Dr Mark Downs CBiol CSci FRSB, chief executive of RSB (left), after receiving his RSB School Biology Teacher of the Year Award

Charles Gill MRSB from Alcester Grammar School, Alcester, was then presented the RSB School Biology Teacher of the Year Award by Susie Rabin, associate director of parliamentary and public affairs at RSB.

After receiving his award, Charles took a moment to reflect, saying: “Whether you teach, study, or research biology, I firmly believe that you are doing something phenomenally important because it seems every problem in the world has a biological cause, solution or both. So everyone keep doing what you’re doing, spread the word and go out there and push more people into the life sciences!”

Raghav Selvam MRSB, senior engagement officer at RSB, then introduced the winners of the Outreach and Engagement Awards.

This year, the winner of the Outreach and Engagement Award for Leadership is Dr Bnar Talabani, a current PhD student studying immunology at Cardiff University.

She was awarded for her efforts in setting up Muslim Doctors Cymru (MDC) in 2021 to organise and deliver science communication on the COVID-19 vaccines and combatting vaccine misinformation.

Commenting on her award, Bnar said: “I'm so grateful to be receiving this prestigious award and want to say a heartfelt thank you to the British Society for Immunology, for nominating me and for the amazing work they have done in communicating science throughout the pandemic.”

The New Researcher Award was awarded to PhD student, Snehal Kadam, from the Hull York Medical School at the University of Hull.

Snehal has received the award for her delivery of the science outreach initiative called Talk To A Scientist (TTAS) in March 2020. TTAS is India’s only weekly webinar series for young minds (aged 6-16), where children get to interact with and learn from scientists live.

After receiving the award, Snehal said: “I feel so honoured to receive this award for the outreach I do co-running TTAS with Dr Karishma Kaushik. We hope to create modern-day role models in science through our platform. This award is such a great recognition of the many efforts that have gone into running TTAS for more than two years.”


Guests networking and admiring the artwork and photographs on display

Dr Mark Downs CBiol CSci FRSB, chief executive of RSB, then ended the event with some closing remarks: “Congratulations to all our winners, we’ve had some fantastic entries across all the categories tonight. I want to thank everyone that has a taken part, our judges for all their time and dedication, and everyone who has attended this evening’s event. It’s great to come together to celebrate.”

Guests were then welcome to network and view an exhibition of prints from this year’s Photography Competition and the Nancy Rothwell Award.