The SCRIPT Award, launched in 2008, celebrates excellence in writing by science graduates. Entrants to the SCRIPT Award compete for the $1000 top prize by submitting an epic story of exactly 100 words on any subject. “We know scientists can write big words,” says SCRIPT Creative Director, Helen Leask PhD. “The SCRIPT Award challenges them to write powerfully about big ideas.”


This year’s winning mind-epic is “The Last Temptation of Icarus” by Andrew Kirk MD, FRCPC, Professor and Head of Neurology at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada.

Dr Kirk started work on the piece after a visit to Crete a few years ago, intending it to be part of a layered narrative following a father and son through significant events in history. “The title is a play on words,” he said. “The airport in Crete was called Heraklion International Airport.” Heraklion was the birthplace of Nikos Kazantzakis, the author of The Last Temptation of Christ. Layer upon layer indeed.

Congratulations, Dr Kirk!


The Last Temptation of Icarus

I’d rather hide in Crete’s mountain but Father insists we’re welcome elsewhere. He springs from the cliff, hovers then rises, shouting for me to follow. I plunge waterward, tasting salt before I’m tugged upwards.

Warned to avoid ocean and sun, I ascend, knowing you’ll speak, write, and paint about me, saying I flew too high in exultation, drunk with joy of flight. But, as melting wax coats me like a second skin, as feathers tumble like leaves, it’s love for Crete I exult in. I’m near shore. As my wings falter and I fall, I know I’m a strong swimmer.



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