YORKSHIRE — It's rare to find a scientist who can enthuse non-scientists about his or her work. But the winners of the 2002 Max Perutz Awards, announced on 27 May, have made a compelling case for learning about a chap called Pap, zipping closed wounds and the own goals of autoimmunity. The prize is intended to encourage research scientists to communicate their work to the general public and is sponsored by the UK's Medical Research Council.

The winner, Collette Tourlamain, says that she has often criticized science stories in newspapers or on TV because they are oversimplified to nonsense, so the competition gave her the chance to see whether she could write for a general audience. "I was shaking when I won, but the best thing was when people said they had understood and enjoyed what I wrote."

Tourlamain, a second-year PhD student at the University of Cambridge,...

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