Congrats to the five winning Kavli Prize scholars! Meet them here.

Meet the five winning scholars

Out of a total of 48 applications from 29 countries our two jury members, Wolfgang Goede and Federico Kukso, had the difficult task to select the five winning scholars that will attend the Kavli Prize Award Ceremony in Oslo (1-6 September 2018). Zooming in on their science journalist’s background the five scholars are presented below with a short biography.

Congratulations to the winners and also a big thank you to all other applicants for sending in their candidacy. Applicants who did not get selected now can always reapply for future Kavli Prize Scholarships.

Angela Posadas Swafford – Colombia

Ms. Angela Posada-Swafford is an award-winning Colombian-American science journalist, lecturer and author of science and adventure novels for young adults. She has been writing stories on astrophysics, space, the poles, neurophysiology, geology, oceanography, the environment, and exploration for 30 years for all media platforms, digital, print and broadcast, in Spanish and English.

Ms. Posada-Swafford is a versatile science journalist in permanent search of knowledge and understanding to popularize among the public of all ages through my articles, books and lectures. She is simply in “heaven’ when doing long features on neuro, astro and nanoscience.

She is also deeply interested in some of Kavli’s projects, such as The Brain Activity Map where neuroscience and nanoscience intersect and the fascinating new insights into mapping the cosmos. And she still remembers a memorable interview with neuroscientist Eve Marder, recipient of the 2016 Kavli Prize, talking about the guts of the crab.

In Norway, next to attending the Kavli Prize Ceremony, she would love to visit Svalbard and get a feel for paleontological and arctic environmental field research, not to mention entering the famous Svalbard Global Seed Vault in Spitsbergen. Columbia yearly sends bean seeds to be stored in the Vault.

Ling Xin – China

Ms. Ling Xin has been a science journalist for 11 years, specializing in physics and science policies. She is a staff reporter for the Bulletin, the Chinese Academy of Sciences official English-language magazine. Over half of her writing in the past years is about astronomy, high energy physics and space science. Ms. Xin has traveled for her reporting to the big telescopes in China, from LAMOST near Beijing to FAST in the far southwest and witnessed the launch of China’s first X-ray satellite.

Ms. Xin has conducted interviews with world-leading astronomers such as TMT project manager Gary Sanders. She is a main contributor to the UK-based Physics World magazine and has introduced overseas readers to physics advancements in China. She also writes in Chinese for the domestic audience for popular science magazines such as Chinese National Astronomy and academic journals like Science & Technology Review

Attending the Kavli Prize week will allow her to meet with and interview top-level scientists and to report from the front row of one of the world’s most exciting events in fundamental science. With her interviews, Ms. Xin plans to systematically introduce Chinese readers to the Kavli Foundation and the Kavli spirit supporting basic research for its long-range benefit to humanity.

Iván Carillo – México

Mr. Carillo’s personal mission is to contribute through scientific, innovative, and technological journalism in the creation a Latin American society that views knowledge as a source for making better decisions and for facing challenges in the present and future.

His current professional activities involve being an Anchor for the TV-show “Los Observadores,” a Mexican program dedicated to interviewing scientists. He is also an anchor for Noticiero Cientíco y Cultural Ibero Americano, a news program on science and technology broadcasting in 15 countries and 44 channels in Latin America and Spain.

Mr. Carillo is interested in acquiring a detailed understanding of the projects that seek to resolve issues concerning nanotechnology, physics, neuroscience, as well as to learn more about the backgrounds of their innovators and what motivates them. He is also interested in sharing these stories with the people of Mexico that will inspire them to embrace the kinds of changes that promote science and technology.

Attending the Kavli Prize ceremony in Oslo will allow Mr. Carillo to write a magazine article recounting the ideas and goals of this year’s winners and to explore their motivations that have led them to research their respective subjects. The account would be published in Newsweek in Spanish. At the same time, he would also cover the event for the TV show, Los Observadores.

Sibusiso Biyela – South Africa

Mr. Sibusiso Biyela is a science communicator at a small start-up company in South Africa. He is also a science writer at where he contributes science stories as a volunteer content contributor. He started his science journalism career by writing a science column for a local newspaper while studying for a BSc in Chemistry and Physics. Most of the column articles were on astronomy since South Africa is lucky enough to host the larger part of the Square Kilometre Array (SKA) radio telescope being constructed in the Karoo desert in South Africa.

He plans to expand on the nature of astrophysics stories that are reported on in South Africa especially in the Zulu language. This will bring the amazing work being done by South African astrophysicists to more readers who might otherwise not be much interested in the subject until they see it in their own language.

The 2018 Kavli Prize event would give him an incredible opportunity to shed light on the world of astrophysics in other parts of the world. This message would reach a large South African audience since he would carry out the story both in English and Zulu. The website has a free-to-use license with credit, so the story would have the potential to appear in many South African publications including broadcast and print.

Simon Pleasants – Australia\Japan

Mr. Simon Pleasants is writing about the latest advances in science while living in Japan. For the past 12 years, he has been assisting scientists in Japan to communicate their findings across borders. Initially, to other scientists by editing their papers prior to submission, but now to a much broader audience through writing and editing popular-level articles. Mr. Pleasants gives researchers a voice so that they can explain the significance of their work to a wider audience than just their peers.

Simon has written and edited many articles on a wide range of scientific topics, including the three areas covered by the Kavli Prize. Attending the Kavli Prize in Oslo would be a dream come true. It would be a fantastic chance to meet some of the best and brightest in their fields and learn about their research.

One of the aspects he most enjoys about his job is meeting researchers in person. That is when the best science communication occurs. Having nearly a week with top-level scientists would be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. He would particularly relish the chance to extend his knowledge of neuroscience since, of the three fields of the Kavli Prize, that is the one he is least familiar with. And attending the Kavli Prize in Oslo would be a great boost to his career. It would give him valuable recognition and would also open more doors to cover research in Japan and overseas in the future.

Original call for scholarships

We are pleased to announce five (5) new scholarships for science journalists to attend the Kavli Prize week in Oslo, Norway (1-6 September 2018).

To select the winners of the scholarships the WFSJ will arrange a competition that will be open to science journalists from all over the world. The application deadline is Monday 22 January 2018. The jury, a sub-committee of the WFSJ-Board, will select the winners based on submitted work.

The President of the World Federation of Science Journalists will announce the winners of the scholarships at a press conference at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas (15-19 February 2018).

Target group

The competition will be open to science journalists from all over the world.

Entry guidelines

The World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ) oversees the competition and is solely responsible for the selection of the winning journalists.

The jury, a sub-committee of the WFSJ-Board, will select the five journalists based on submitted work.

Information to submit:

  • Three (3) recent articles or audio or video productions on astrophysics, nanoscience or neuroscience in the language of origin
  • A one-page essay in English (max. 700 words) describing why you should be selected and what you will do if you win the competition.
  • A recent Curriculum Vitae (CV) in English
  • Your full coordinates (full name, address, email and phone number)
  • Identification pages of your passport.

Practical arrangements

The WFSJ will manage the travel arrangements of the participants. The conference registration fees will be waived for these journalists.

The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters will cover accommodation for the journalists and provide necessary support documents for their visa application if applicable.

If any of the journalists want to attend Kavli Prize Events outside Oslo, the scholarship should cover the travel costs, while the Academy will cover accommodation.


The deadline to apply is Monday 22 January 2018. To apply, you should send an email to The title of the email message should include in the subject line – Kavli Prize Competition 2018/WFSJ.

The President of the World Federation of Science Journalists will announce the winners at the AAAS Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas (15-18 February 2018).

The kavli prize jury members

The Kavli Prize jury is a sub-committee of the WFSJ’s Executive Board. The members will select the winners based on submitted work.

Wolfgang Goede is a senior science journalist from Germany with more than 30 years of experience as an editor for the leading popular science magazine P.M., as well as with international editions and outlets. He has written about a wide array of scientific topics.

Wolfgang is a co-founder of the World Federation of Science Journalists and has attended all the World Conference of Science Journalists (WCSJ) as a speaker, an organizer or as a session contributor. At the WCSJ2017 in San Francisco, he moderated the panel on ‘A Delicate Balance: Immunity in Health, Disease and Medicine.

Mr. Goede is also a long-time board member of the German Association of Science Writers TELI and a member of the International Science Writers Association (ISWA). He was TELI’s delegate to the European Union of Science Journalists’ Association (EUSJA) before being elected EUSJA’s Honorary Secretary (2012). He organized at ESOF 2014 in Copenhagen a science debate on nanotechnology, which resulted in the Copenhagen Declaration that had an impact on EU policy.

Federico Kukso is an independent Argentinian science journalist with more than 18 years of experience writing about science, culture, and technology. He currently writes for science magazines such as Scientific American, Muy Interesante Argentina, Quo México, Le Monde Diplomatique, Tech Review (México), Agencia Sinc (Spain), La Nación newspaper (Argentina) and Undark (MIT).

In the past, Federico oversaw the science section of several Argentinian newspapers, and also produced science TV shows for Discovery Channel, Tecnópolis TV and NatGeo Latin America. Federico is the author of two books: “All You Need to Know about Science” and “The Bathrooms Weren’t Always Like This”. Currently, he is working on a book about the cultural history of smells.

In 2015, Mr.Kusko was a Knight Science Journalism Fellow. The fellowship allowed him to specialize in the History of science and STS (Science and Technology Studies) at MIT and Harvard University. At WCSJ2017 he was a session speaker at two sessions and an organizer of the session on ‘Land of The Giants: South American Dinosaurs and Antarctic Secrets.’

Mr. Kusko is a member of the Argentinian Network of Science Journalism and was recently elected WFSJ Executive Board member. In 2014, he was the winner of a Kavli Prize Scholarship.

More information

If you need more information contact us via or visit the Kavli Prize website. We also invite you to take a look at 2016 Kavli Prize scholarship on our website herewith the profiles of the five previous winners.

About the Kavli Prize 

The Kavli Prize has been awarded every two years since 2008 in astrophysics, nanoscience, and neuroscience. The prize consists of 1 million US dollars in each field. In addition, the laureates receive a gold medal. The King of Norway usually presents the Kavli Prize to the laureates.

The winners of the scholarships will get the opportunity to interview the laureates and have access to all the events, including the award ceremony and the banquet.

The President of The Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters, Ole M. Sejersted, will host a dinner in Oslo in honor of the winners of the scholarships where they will meet Norwegian science journalists as well as journalists from other countries attending the Kavli Prize week.

Kavli Prize Scholarships partners

The Kavli Prize Scholarships is a partnership between:

It is produced by the World Federation of Science Journalists (WFSJ).