Graham Lawton

New Scientist

“There is no other journalist that I have worked with in 15 years that writes as beautifully, fluently or informatively, as Graham Lawton. He is, without doubt, the best science journalist working in the UK today.”

Helen Thomson, Head of Features, New Scientist Graham Lawton has been a reporter and editor at New Scientist for more than 20 years. In that time he has become one of the UK’s best story-tellers. Graham has a unique knack for discovering stories that no one else would find. His latest features include the mysterious journey that eels take across the Atlantic, the benefits of feeding your pets vegan food and the re-emerging plague that could become drug-resistant. He always goes to extreme lengths for a good narrative – taking hallucinogenic drugs in an MRI, for instance, or stuffing himself with boozy sauces and alcoholic chocolates to figure out what really happens to the alcohol we cook with. This year has been especially noteworthy for Graham, unfortunately for an incredibly sad reason. His wife Clare developed a rare condition called nociplastic pain. Over a short time, Clare’s pain became unbearable and she ended her own life. Graham, being Graham, still managed to write the magazine’s best-selling feature of the year during this time caring for his wife. That feature, “Age-defying food” was an investigation into a diet based on the body’s ageing process that increases life expectancy by up to 20 years. It sold 240 subscriptions (the average is 20) and continues to amass huge interest from readers. His ability to write best-selling features while caring for his wife, and later, grieving, is testament not only to his dedication to the job, and skill as a journalist but his never-ending positive spirit. He is generous with his time, is always willing to teach less experienced members of staff the ropes, and is always eager to help others learn from his skills as a writer. Even in the wake of his loss, he is planning how to increase awareness around nociplastic pain through his writing. He has already written a piece on eco-burials and a mini-feature on this mysterious type of pain for an upcoming pain special edition of the magazine. The articles we are submitting on Graham’s behalf are his longevity story, together with a feature investigating the fast-fashion industry and an incredibly revealing dive into the fishing industry. All three features did incredibly well for us, gaining hundreds of subscriptions, but we are highlighting these above others because they all combined a fantastic narrative with rigorous scientific reporting of the facts. The fast fashion and fishing industries are both rife with bad practice, misinformation and dodgy stats. Graham managed to pick his way through both with authority and clear explanations of the facts.