Dutch journalist is European Science Writer of the Year

European Science Writer of the Year 2017 Hester van Santen
European Science Writer of the Year 2017 Hester van Santen Jelle Kalkman

NRC science editor Hester van Santen has won the European Science Writer of the Year Award. This yearly award is an initiative of the Association of British Science Writers with the European Science Journalism Association.

Three articles

The cover illustration of Hester van Santen’s non-shampoo article. @

The prize was awarded for three articles published in 2016 in the Dutch newspaper NRC Handelsblad, a daily newspaper in the Netherlands. One article explored the unexpected consequences of not washing your hair, another was on the newly discovered central role of archaea in the origin of plants, fungi and animals, including man. The third article was an in-depth analysis of the peer review proces of the science journal Nature.


“In her submission, Hester has demonstrated her ability to be at ease with both popular science formats and more investigative type pieces”, the ABSW judging panel, who chose the Dutch journalist out of a total of 15 European science reporters, said. “Her work is remarkably well researched regardless of the format or audience targeted and is full of creativity with a great range of interviews. Hester’s best submission is undoubtedly the article about peer review, which represents a great case study of a big problem affecting science.”