Robin Ince has won a prestigious award for science journalism.

The Crick award – named after the Nobel-winner who co-discovered the structure of DNA – is handed out by the University of Northampton to the writer/journalist who has presented a scientific issue effectively to a lay audience. Professor Nick Petford, vice-chancellor of Northampton University, said: “Strictly speaking, Robin is neither a scientist nor a journalist – he’s a comedian. However, as a writer, entertainer and commentator Robin has done as much as anyone in the UK to bring scientific issues and subjects to a wider and younger audience. We are pleased to acknowledge Robin’s wide-ranging contribution to the popularisation of science. His ability to combine comedy and scientific commentary is unique.”

In presenting this award, the University is not only recognising Robin’s work on the Infinite Monkey Cage (winner of the 2011 Sony award for best speech programme) but also his other science-based initiatives. Notable among these is the Incomplete Map of the Cosmic Genome, an online video-based science magazine and archive, as well as his annual science-based Christmas show Nine Lessons for Godless People which features comedy and music as well as contributions from leading figures such as Richard Dawkins and psychiatrist Ben Goldacre.

In accepting the award Robin indicated how much he enjoys making science entertaining for audiences: “I have had so much fun making and touring shows about science that it seems excessive that I should get something like this too. I feel very honoured to receive the award.”

He will be presented with the 2016 Crick Science Journalism Award on Friday 14 October. That evening he will be on the stage at the Royal and Derngate, Northampton, with his co-host physicist Brian Cox in their touring show, Brian Cox Live.