Mary Mulvihill Award for science journalism seeks curious communicators

5 Oct 2017

The Mary Mulvihill award wants curious and imaginative entries from young science communicators. Image: Ekaterina Pokrovsky/Shutterstock

The Mary Mulvihill Memorial Award honours the memory of the science journalist, author and founder of Ingenious Ireland.

After her tragic passing in 2015, Mary Mulvihill’s family and friends joined together to establish an award in her honour. Mulvihill made a significant impact in science journalism, and her work was characterised by an insatiable curiosity about the natural world and a vivid and imaginative mind.

Last year’s entries were based around the contributions made to the world of science by bright and innovative women, and the inaugural winner was announced as University College Dublin student Irene Fogarty, who carried out research on indigenous women and climate change mitigation.

Science and post-truth politics

This year’s competition centres around the theme of: ‘Science – Whose facts? Whose truth?’ The theme was chosen to reflect the current disparagement of expert scientific testimony, and the post-truth political climate in which we all live.

The award is open to both undergraduate and postgraduate students who are enrolled in an Irish higher education institution at the time of submission. Entrants can submit an article, essay, radio programme, blog post or video. The work may have been published but not before September 2017, and it can be a part of wider coursework undertaken by the student.

Rewarding curiosity

The €2,000 award will be given to the student whose entry, in the judges’ view, best represents the curiosity, creativity and story-telling imagination that Mary Mulvihill showed in her work.

Additional awards may be granted at the discretion of the judging panel for other exceptional entries. The judges for this year’s award are Karlin Lillington, technology columnist at The Irish Times; Nigel Monaghan, keeper at the National Natural History Museum of Ireland; Anne Mulvihill, sister of Mary Mulvihill; and Ann O’Dea, Inspirefest founder and CEO and co-founder of O’Dea wrote an obituary honouring Mulvihill at the time of her passing and, each year, Inspirefest is dedicated to her honour.

The final closing date for entries is 30 March 2018. Queries and submissions should be sent to

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects