COSMOS picks up its 39th award

Cosmos Media Press Release | 12 November 2010


With their trophies: Fiona Macdonald (New Journalist of the Year), Wilson da Silva (Highly Commended, Editor of the Year) and Tara Francis (Highly Commended, Most Successful Subscriptions Campaign)

COSMOS has taken out its 39th award since launching in 2005, making it by far the most decorated science magazine in Australian publishing history.


Australia’s #1 science magazine was recognised with four commendations at the annual Publishers Australia Excellence Awards in Sydney: Analytical Writer of the Year and New Journalist of the Year, plus a Highly Commended certificate for Editor of the Year and for Most Successful Subscriptions Campaign.


The awards, staged annually by the magazine industry body Publishers Australia, were chaired by ABC Radio’s Adam Spencer and held before an audience of 430 on Friday 12 November at Cockle Bay Wharf in Sydney.

It was the fourth year in a row that a COSMOS writer has won the category: Elizabeth Finkel won in 2007; in 2008, Alan Finkel took the award for “The mind gap”; and in 2009, John Pickrell scooped it for his piece “Oceans of acid”.

Analytical Writer of the Year was won by Elizabeth Finkel, the Melbourne science writer and co-founder of COSMOS who is also a contributing editor. Her feature on junk genes, “The trouble with genes” in Issue 31 – coupled with her online articles “Crisis in Australia’s seed banks” and “Proto-animal packs complex gene toolkit” clinched her the award for the second time.


It was the fourth year in a row that a COSMOS writer has won the category: Elizabeth Finkel won in 2007; in 2008, Alan Finkel won the award for “The mind gap”; and in 2009 John Pickrell, then deputy editor, won the award for his piece “Oceans of acid”.


Elizabeth Finkel (Analytical Writer of the Year) with Fiona Macdonald (New Journalist of the Year)

The New Journalist of the Year trophy was won by Fiona MacDonald, the assistant editor of COSMOS who joined the team earlier this year. She won for her feature “A numbers game” on the troubling fall in vaccination rates (issue 34); as well as a passionate online opinion piece defending the science of climate change (“In defence of science”); and her research, writing and management of the COSMOS “Better Bodies” schools poster, produced for RMIT University.


COSMOS – recognised as an excellent training ground – has often dominated this category, winning three trophies and two runners-up in six years. Editorial assistant Kate Holdsworth won it in 2006, while writer Erica Harrison received a Highly Commended certificate. In 2007, intern Benjamin Lester picked up the trophy, with then freelancer (now deputy editor) Jacqui Hayes scoring a finalist berth. Hayes went on to collect her own Highly Commended certificate in 2009.

COSMOS – recognised as an excellent training ground – has often dominated the New Journalist of the Year category, winning three trophies and two runners-up in six years.

Another new recruit, publishing assistant Tara Francis, won a Highly Commended certificate for Most Successful Subscriptions Campaign for her organisation and execution of a successful initiative that grew the number of COSMOS subscribers and boosted their average length of subscription.


Wilson da Silva, one of the founders of COSMOS, also won a Highly Commended certificate for Editor of the Year. He is a previous outright winner of the trophy in 2005 and 2006.


COSMOS has been remarkable success since its launch, garnering accolades from far and wide. Winner of the Magazine of the Year trophy at the same event in both 2009 and 2006, the Australian magazine has also won the 2010 American Institute of Physics Science Writing Award, the 2006 Reuters/IUCN Award for Excellence in Environmental Journalism, the 2008 City of Sydney Lord Mayor’s Sustainability Award and an Earth Journalism Award in 2009.


Publishers Australia was founded in 1964 and represents the country’s magazine publishers. It has 120 publisher members who produce 500 magazines.


The full list of 2010 award winners and finalists for COSMOS appears below:

  • Winner, Analytical Writer of the Year: Elizabeth Finkel, COSMOS

  • Winner, New Journalist of the Year: Fiona Macdonald, COSMOS

  • Highly Commended, Most Successful Subscriptions Campaign: Tara Francis, COSMOS

  • Highly Commended, Editor of the Year: Wilson da Silva, COSMOS

  • Finalist, Best Publishing Printing Project: Offset Alpine Printing – COSMOS

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