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AAAS Announces Science Journalism Award Winners
Washington, D.C. (January 6, 2000) The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) announced today the 1999 winners of its prestigious national science writing awards, which are sponsored by The Whitaker Foundation:
George Johnson, The New York Times
Gayle Worland, Denver Westword
Robert Kunzig, Discover
Charles W. Petit, U.S. News & World Report
Elizabeth Arledge, WGBH - NOVA
Michael Lamp, KNAU, Northern Arizona Public Radio
The AAAS Science Journalism Awards honor excellence in science writing in large newspapers (daily circulation more than 100,000), small newspapers (daily or weekly circulation less than 100,000) and magazines, and on television and radio. The winners will be honored on February 19, 2000, at a special ceremony during the association's annual meeting, held this year in Washington, D.C.
The competition was open to newspaper and magazine articles as well as radio and television shows that were originally published or aired in the United States between July 1, 1998, and June 30, 1999. Independent screening and judging committees consisting of journalists and scientists selected the winners.
George Johnson of The New York Times won the competition in the large newspaper category for his articles entitled "Almost in Awe, Physicists Ponder 'Ultimate' Theory," "Of Mice and Elephants: a Matter of Scale" and "Mindless Creatures, Acting 'Mindfully,'" which appeared on September 22, 1998, January 12, 1999, and March 23, 1999. Johnson is honored for tackling difficult science concepts and explaining complicated issues in a coherent and clear way for the readers.
Gayle Worland of the Denver Westword won the award for the small newspaper category for her November 26, 1998, article entitled "A Bird in Hand." Worland is honored for her well written piece, which serves as a contribution to science journalism. The fact that her article appeared in a free weekly circular demonstrates the growing importance of science stories in the media.
The award for outstanding science writing in the magazine category was given to two co-winners this year: Robert Kunzig of Discover won for his December 1998 article "The Blood of the Vikings." He is commended for his unique, unexpected and beautifully written piece, and his skillful use of poetry.
Charles W. Petit also won for his articles "Touched by Nature," "A Fresh Jolt for Fusion" and "Rediscovering America," which appeared in U.S. News & World Report on July 27, 1998, September 28, 1998, and October 12, 1998. Petit is honored for his craftsmanship and the excellent quality throughout all three pieces. The judges said the entries represent a fine example of what others should strive for in science journalism.
In the television category, Elizabeth Arledge of WGBH – NOVA won for "Surviving Aids." Arledge is honored for her use of personal stories, narration and graphics to illustrate the scientific investigation of the HIV virus. The judges noted her ability to integrate human drama with the challenging scientific process involved in AIDS research.
In the radio category, Michael Lamp won for "Planet Pluto," which aired on KNAU, Northern Arizona Public Radio. Lamp is commended for his effective use of the medium, especially interviews and ambient sound, to convey concepts from a primarily visual field of science. The judges noted his coverage of material, balanced viewpoint, demonstration of science's impact on society, and a century's long perspective of a scientific issue.
The AAAS Science Journalism Awards, first presented in 1945, are sponsored by the Whitaker Foundation, a private nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting research and training in biomedical engineering.
Founded in 1848, AAAS is the world's largest federation of scientists and works to advance science for human well being through its projects, programs and publications. With more than 138,000 members and 282 affiliated societies, AAAS conducts many programs in the areas of science policy, science education and international scientific cooperation. AAAS publishes the prestigious peer-reviewed journal
Science, as well as a number of electronic features on the World Wide Web.
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