Royal College of Science Union

Gaia Vince

Gaia Vince

Our video entry judge.

Gaia Vince is a science writer and broadcaster. She has held senior editorial posts at Nature and New Scientist; her writing is featured in newspapers and magazines such as The Guardian and Scientific American. In 2015, she became the first woman to win the Royal Society Science Book of the Year Prize solo for her debut, Adventures In The Anthropocene: A journey the the heart of the planet we made. Her latest book, about human cultural evolution, is Transcencence. She blogs at WanderingGaia.com and tweets at @WanderingGaia.

Mike Shanahan

Mike Shanahan

Our essay judge.

Mike Shanahan is freelance science writer, editor and communication consultant who focuses on climate change, forests and biodiversity. He has a doctorate in rainforest ecology and is the author of Ladders to Heaven, a book about how strangler figs and their kin have shaped humanity and the world about us. His journalism includes work published by The Economist, Nature, New Scientist, BBC Earth and Scientific American. He maintains a blog called Under the Banyan.


Mun Keat Looi

Mun Keat Looi

Our feature judge.

Mun Keat Looi is a science writer and features editor, and the author of two books, ‘Big Questions in Science: The quest to solve the great unknowns‘ (2013) and the Geek Guide to Life (2016). Mun-Keat was awarded the silver Rising Star Award at the 2015 British Media Awards and has written and produced news, features, podcasts, and videos for Wellcome Trust, Quartz, The Guardian, BBC Focus, Chemistry World and others.


Kathy Sykes

Kathy Sykes

Our freestyle question judge.

Kathy Sykes was Professor of Science and Society at Bristol University and was on a number of government advisory bodies involved with public engagement. She was the founder of the Cheltenham Science Festival which was regarded as the leading festival of its kind, ad advisor to the Wellcome Trust on PE, a regular presenter for BBC until she stopped in 2010, and on the Societal Issued panel of the EPSRC and the Prime Minister’s advisory board on science and the public. Her PhD was in polymer physics.


Lord Robert Winston

Lord Robert Winston

Overall winner judge.

The ambassador for the Science Challenge for 13 years, the President's Envoy for Outreach and Professor of Science and Society at Imperial College London. He visits more than 50,000 schools in the UK each year and has published lots of science books for the younger generation, such as “Evolution Revolution” and “The Story of God”.