Headline winners



A competition run jointly by Heriot-Watt and Strathclyde Universities, which encouraged students and pupils to consider the real research behind newspaper headlines, has announced its winners.

Ensuring that these often complex findings are effectively communicated to different audiences.
Dr Alan Gow

Working with schools and universities throughout Scotland, the Rewrite the Headlines competition, supported by the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Young Academy of Scotland, aimed to help young people better understand what research is, how it gets translated from specialised areas to popular media, and then how they might translate it back.

After completing workshops, schools were encouraged to find their own media report of research, unpick the story and then give the piece their own new headline.

The winning class, from St Roch's Primary School, Glasgow, turned the recent headline 'Processed meats do cause cancer – WHO', into 'Eating processed meat slightly increases risk of cancer'.

In the university category students were tasked with preparing a short blog exploring a recent research finding which had been discussed in the media and was open to students from across Scotland. The winning undergraduate entry was from Abbey Wrathall, from the University of Edinburgh, who explored recent media coverage about whether weekend versus weekday hospital admissions might be associated with poorer outcomes.

Dr Alan Gow, Associate Professor in Psychology in the School of Life Sciences at Heriot-Watt University, noted, “We were delighted by the high quality of the entries received and the diversity of areas covered. The winning entries all showcased the skills the students have been developing during their undergraduate training in interpreting and evaluating research studies, and ensuring that these often complex findings are effectively communicated to different audiences.”

All of the winners are being showcased over the first two weeks of February.