From the Nominator
"This story brings a thoughtful, heartfelt angle to a study from the lab from the late Ben Barres, MD, PhD, a Stanford neuroscientist. The author, Bruce Goldman, balances the history of Barres’ research with new findings that put a cap on the researchers’ ultimate regret as he neared the end of his life—that he wouldn’t live long enough to fully understand how certain cells in the brain go from “angel to demon” in a number of neurodegenerative diseases.
Four years after Barres’ death, researchers who have carried his work forward have pinpointed what causes this shift in the cells’ nature. Alongside thorough and thoughtful explanations of the science behind this discovery and why it matters, Bruce weaves in the emotional, human side of this research, highlighting how researchers carried Barres’ torch and worked diligently to publish a paper that would stand as homage to the Barres’ scientific legacy."
From the Judges
This is a really well-written piece on scientific research. The humanising element of the personal connection and the passion of the researchers gave it a compelling edge over many others. Strong concept with lots of information and emotion that makes the scientist relatable. Additionally, the way the concept was explained made it easy for anyone to understand.