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2001 Award Recipients

The American Association for the Advancement of Science is honored to recognize the distinguished individuals receiving awards and prizes at the 2002 AAAS Annual Meeting. The recipients of these awards are to be praised for their dedication and commitment to furthering the scientific enterprise. We applaud and commend the extraordinary achievements of this select group of scientists, engineers, and journalists.

The Awards were presented by:

Peter H. Raven
President, American Association for the Advancement of Science


Alan I. Leshner Chief Executive Officer, American Association for the Advancement of Science

Award Recipients

Previous Recipients


AAAS Lifetime Achievement Award

William T. Golden

The recipient of the AAAS Lifetime Achievement Award is Mr. William T. Golden. He is honored for a lifetime of leadership, counsel, and support in the advancement of science.

The Board of Directors of the American Association for the Advancement of Science presents this special award for extraordinary achievement, support, and leadership in the field of science.

Since the end of World War II, Mr. William T. Golden has advanced science, science policy, and science education by accomplishing what he set out to do early in life: interesting things. As Dennis Overbye noted in the New York Times, “Bill Golden has been on what he calls ‘the periphery of science,’ where policy and money meet the hot pursuit of nature’s secrets.” And by being there he has conceived, established, and organized many, many interesting things.

Examples of his good works proliferate. As co-chair, with Dr. Joshua Lederberg, of the Carnegie Commission on Science, Technology, and Government, Mr. Golden conceived and established the informal Carnegie Group of ministers of science and science advisors to the G8 countries and the European Union. The meetings, held twice a year since 1991, provide an informal and unofficial context in which to discuss and debate science policy. Such dialogue has facilitated international communication among high-level governmental officials.

Dedicated to integrating more science and technology in foreign policy-making, Mr. Golden funded a 1999 study with the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and urged the recommendation of an appointment of a science and technology advisor to the U.S. Secretary of State. Then-Secretary Madeleine Albright agreed and Dr. Norman Neureiter was appointed during the Clinton administration. He currently serves Secretary Colin Powell.

Mr. Golden may well be most famous, however, for establishing the post of Science Advisor to the President and the related Office of Science and Technology in the Executive Office of the President when he was an advisor to President Harry S. Truman. At that time, Mr. Golden toured the country and interviewed more than 150 people and recorded his impressions in 400 pages of memorandums before recommending its creation. This position has existed for more than 50 years and virtually every developed country has set up its own version. At the same time, he advised President Truman on the initial program for the National Science Foundation that exclusively supports basic science and not military applications.

Mr. Golden largely influenced the creation of the AAAS Congressional Science Fellows Program by buying the program’s “first tank of gas.” AAAS can boast that more than 1000 Fellows have served in public policy positions by bringing their scientific backgrounds to Washington, DC. You can find many of Mr. Golden’s manuscripts and memoranda on the AAAS Web site here.

Perhaps Mr. Golden may be most proud of his involvement in the Black Rock Forest, a 3,700-acre preserve in Cornwall, NY that Mr. Golden bought in 1989 from Harvard University. The purchase money was placed in an endowment and the preserve is leased to a consortium of local university and environmental organizations. Many environmentalists originally feared the land would be developed and subdivided. But through Mr. Golden’s initiative, the land will be protected as a natural area in perpetuity.

While serving in various capacities as director or trusted advisor to nearly 100 different government, university, and non-profit organizations, Mr. Golden actively involved himself in the institutions and their activities. He served for five years as chair of the American Museum of Natural History and, for 31 years, he served as AAAS’ Treasurer. Mr. Golden received the NAS Public Welfare Medal in 1996, NSF’s Distinguished Public Service Award in 1982, and the Benjamin Franklin Award for Distinguished Public Service by the American Philosophical Society in 1995.

Mr. Golden received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1930 and attended Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration in 1931. Admitting to a life of constant curiosity, he finished his master’s degree in biology at Columbia University at the age of 70. By being on the periphery of science and challenging conventional wisdom, Mr. Golden placed himself squarely in the position of helping to advance science worldwide.

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AAAS Award for International Scientific Cooperation


This year’s recipient of the Award for International Scientific Cooperation is Professor Guenther Bauer. He is honored for his scientific accomplishments in the field of semiconductor physics and his outstanding work in institution building and collaboration with numerous scientists across political and national boundaries and promotion of equal opportunities for women in physics.

The AAAS Award for International Scientific Cooperation recognizes an individual for making extraordinary contributions to furthering international cooperation in science and engineering. The winner receives $2,500 and a commemorative plaque.

Since 1990, Dr. Guenther Bauer has served as Professor of Semiconductor Physics at the Johannes Kepler University in Linz, Austria. His achievements in the physics of semiconductors provide a clear example of how much today’s progress in science owes to the internationalization of research. During the course of his career, Dr. Bauer has engaged in numerous scientific collaborations with scientists across the world. He has actively initiated and participated in multinational and bilateral scientific projects supported by the Austrian government and organizations, European Union agencies, and the National Science Foundation, among others.

Every two years, Dr. Bauer organizes the Winter School on New Developments in Solid State Physics held in Mauterndorf, Austria, with support from the Austrian Physical Society. In the course of its more than 20-year history, the Mauterndorf school has become an influential international event in the field of physics, drawing together scientists from across the world. As a result, many new discoveries have been presented for the first time at this meeting.

In addition, Dr. Bauer has promoted equal opportunity for women in physics and organized the International Women in Physics Program in Linz. The program is sponsored by the Austrian Physical Society and invites women from different countries to come to Austria to disseminate best practices among participating countries. Dr. Bauer has directed the initiative since 1990.

Dr. Bauer has also collaborated with numerous researchers in the United States at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Brown University, and the University of Maryland; with western European centers like the Walter Schottky Institute and Ecole Politechnic; and in central European laboratories in the Czech and Slovak Republics, as well as Poland. He has engaged in numerous scientific collaborations with scientists across political and national boundaries. Dr. Bauer demonstrated unusual sensitivity to the problem of oppressed scientists during martial law in Poland. He also has worked with colleagues in China, Japan, the former Soviet republics, and Brazil. Scientists, new and established, have visited and worked in his laboratory and he has often returned the favor by working in theirs.

Such international collaboration has resulted in nearly 500 publications. Dr. Bauer is a member of AAAS, the German Physical Society, the Austrian Academy of Sciences, the Austrian Physical Society for which he served as President in 1988-1989, and the International Union of Pure and Applied Physics.

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AAAS Award for Public Understanding Of Science and Technology


This year’s recipient of the AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology is Professor Ian N. Stewart. He is honored for his work in communicating the excitement of science and mathematics to millions of people around the world.

The AAAS Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology recognizes working scientists and engineers who make outstanding contributions to the “popularization of science.” The prize consists of a commemorative plaque and $5,000.

Ian N. Stewart, born in 1945, received his B.A. and M.A. in mathematics from Cambridge University and his Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Warwick. He received honorary doctorates from the University of Westminster in 1998 and from the University of Louvian in 2000. Currently, he is Professor of Mathematics at Warwick University and Director of the Mathematics Awareness Centre (MAC@W).

Professor Stewart is an active research mathematician with over 150 papers published or in press. His current research fields include a particular interest in problems that lie in the gaps between pure and applied mathematics. For instance, the effects of symmetry on dynamics, with applications to pattern formation, and chaos theory in areas including animal locomotion, fluid dynamics, mathematical biology, electronic circuits, computer vision, and intelligent control of spring coiling machines are all of interest to Dr. Stewart.

Among the general public, Dr. Stewart is best known for his popular science writing on mathematical themes. In 1995, he was awarded the Royal Society’s Michael Faraday Medal for furthering the public understanding of science. His book Nature’s Numbers was shortlisted for the 1996 Rhone-Poulenc Prize for Science Books. He delivered the 1997 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures as seen on BBC television and repeated in Japan for the Japan Broadcasting Corporation. Dr. Stewart won the 1999 Communications Award of the Joint Policy Board for Mathematics and was awarded the United Kingdom’s Institute for Mathematics and its Applications 2000 Gold Medal. His book with Terry Pratchett and Jack Cohen, The Science of Discworld, was nominated for a Hugo Award at the 2000 World Science Fiction Convention. Jointly with Dr. M. Golubitsky, he won the 2001 Ferran Sunyer I Balaguer Prize for a mathematical monograph based on the author’s own research, awarded by the Institut d’Estudis Catalans, Barcelona. Dr. Stewart was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2001.

In addition, Dr. Stewart has contributed to a wide range of newspapers and magazines in Europe and the United States, including New Scientist for which he is the mathematics consultant, Scientific American for which he wrote the monthly “Mathematical Recreations,” and Discover. He has appeared on numerous British radio programs including Desert Island Discs, The Brains Trust, The Litmus Test, The Afternoon Shift, Science Now, Start The Week, Loose Ends, and Night Waves and he has published over 60 books including From Here to Infinity: Nature’s Numbers; The Collapse of Chaos; Fearful Symmetry; Does God Play Dice?; Game, Set & Math; and Another Fine Math You’ve Got Me Into.

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AAAS Mentor Award


This year’s recipient of the Mentor Award is Dr. Leticia Márquez-Magaña. She is recognized for demonstrating extraordinary leadership in mentoring and developing research opportunities for underrepresented students in the sciences, especially Hispanic Americans and Pacific Islanders.

The AAAS Mentor Award honors members of the Association who have mentored significant numbers of students from underrepresented groups over a period of less than 10 years. The winner receives a commemorative plaque and $2,500.

Dr. Leticia Márquez-Magaña, an Associate Professor of Biology at San Francisco State University, received her Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of California-Berkeley in 1991 and her B.S. and M.S. degrees in biological science from Stanford University.She currently studies the genes that control the movement of the bacterial cell toward food and away from toxic materials.

Dr. Márquez-Magaña notes that “I am very proud of my Mexican heritage and it is an integral part of who I am. I am not just a scientist and research professor. I am a Chicana scientist and research professor.” When taking classes at Stanford, she found that she was underprepared academically. She attended an all-girls Catholic high school where no physics or pre-calculus courses were taught. But Dr. Márquez-Magaña was consistently drawn to the intricacies of biology and science even though her grades were not high.

It wasn’t until one of her professors pointed out that she could serve her community well by indulging her fascination with science that she decided science could and would be her path. Given her personal experiences with being Mexican-American and female, mentoring students of color has succeeded in fulfilling some elements of her need to serve her community.

At Berkeley, Dr. Márquez-Magaña founded Scientists of Color, a graduate student organization aimed at creating minority social support and a professional network on campus and, at Stanford, she founded Stanford Multicultural Scientists and spearheaded the development of the minority undergraduate summer research program. At San Francisco State University (SFSU), Dr. Márquez-Magaña maintains an aggressive effort to mentor students of color for professional careers in the biological sciences. As many as 10 undergraduates and graduate students are trained in her laboratory, working alongside post-doctoral scientists and research technicians. In 1997, Hispanic Business magazine named her one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in the country in recognition of her research and for her efforts to recruit and train promising minority students. In 1996, she received a $500,000 NSF CAREER Award for her genetic and molecular research on motility in bacteria. According to the Dean of SFSU’s College of Science and Engineering, “She is simply the ultimate role model.”

AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement


The recipient of the Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement is Dr. Etta Zuber Falconer. She is honored for her passionate dedication and longstanding commitment, as a mentor, role model, administrator, and educator, to increase the number of African-American women entering mathematics-related careers.

The AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement honors members of the Association who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in efforts to increase the participation of individuals with physical disabilities, women, and minorities in science and engineering. The recipient receives a commemorative plaque and $2,500.

Dr. Etta Z. Falconer has promoted and led a cadre of colleagues to develop one of the most productive science programs at a liberal arts college in the United States. She has been instrumental in increasing the number of women and minorities entering scientific careers. Her career as a lifelong learner began in Tupelo, Mississippi, where she attended public elementary and secondary schools. In 1953, Dr. Falconer graduated from Fisk University with a B.A. in mathematics. She received her M.S. in mathematics from the University of Wisconsin in 1954. And, in 1969, she received her Ph.D. in mathematics from Emory University, becoming only the eleventh African-American woman to receive such a degree there. Dr. Falconer began her career as an educator at Okolona Junior College in Mississippi and, after 10 years, moved to teach high school in Chattanooga, Tennessee. By 1965, she started teaching at Spelman College, rising from the position of instructor to associate professor. She left Spelman for a year to teach at Norfolk State University. In 1971, Dr. Falconer returned to Spelman to serve as the mathematics department chair for 10 years. Subsequently, she became chair of the Department of Natural Sciences and served as the Fuller E. Calloway Professor of Mathematics and Director of Science Programs and Policy, as well as the Associate Provost for Science Programs and Policy.

In all of these positions, Dr. Falconer initiated programs and processes to increase the number of underrepresented populations in the study of mathematics and science. A Summer Science Program for pre-freshmen, the college’s annual Science Day, and the NASA Women in Science and Engineering Program are among her many efforts that improved the success rate of science majors, representing 38% of the student body and 30% of the graduating class. Also, the number of science graduates pursuing doctoral degree is up 57% since 1988. One of Dr. Falconer’s proposal efforts resulted in Spelman College being selected by NSF/NASA as a “Model Institution for Excellence” and receiving a nine million dollar grant, which provides funding for scholarships, curriculum development, equipment, infrastructure, and building renovations.

Dr. Falconer is a member and Fellow of AAAS, the first secretary of the National Association of Mathematics, and, among other honors, the recipient of the Louise Hay Award for Contributions to Mathematics Education from the Association of Women in Mathematics.

AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement


The recipient of the Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement is Dr. James H. M. Henderson. He is recognized for his stellar achievements in devoting his academic career to the teaching and research training of African-American students in the biological and agricultural sciences.

The AAAS Mentor Award for Lifetime Achievement honors members of the Association who have demonstrated extraordinary leadership in efforts to increase the participation of individuals with physical disabilities, women, and minorities in science and engineering. The recipient receives a commemorative plaque and $2,500.

Dr. James H. M. Henderson, Emeritus Professor of Biology, is often recognized as an exceptional academician who has served generations of students as a role model and mentor at Tuskegee University, a historically black institution of higher learning. He has devoted his entire career to research and teaching students at the pre-college, undergraduate, and graduate levels in the biological and agricultural sciences.

In 1939, Dr. Henderson graduated with a B.S. in botany from Howard University. He went on to the University of Wisconsin, Madison to finish both his M.Ph. and Ph.D. in plant physiology. He worked at the University of Chicago and the California Institute of Technology before planting roots at Tuskegee University in 1945. To a considerable extent, because of Dr. Henderson’s efforts, Tuskegee ranks among the top five historically black institutions from which black scientists with doctoral degrees started their undergraduate studies. When he began at Tuskegee, a major in biology or another natural science field was not available. Since no post-master’s degree in the natural sciences is available besides the Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Henderson has not mentored students at the doctoral level. He has been responsible, however, for directing many undergraduate students to graduate schools and he guided those who earned master’s degrees from Tuskegee to appropriate doctoral programs. Many have received their Ph.D. or medical degrees as a result of his guidance and leadership. Dr. Henderson also has mentored students at the secondary school level. His summer program aimed at high school students, ENHANCES, funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, has seen more than 40 students go on to college.

Dr. Henderson, a member and Fellow of AAAS, is a consultant to the National Research Council and was the Program Director of the NIH’s Minority Biomedical Research Support Program for 13 years. He served as Commissioner of the Commission on Undergraduate Biological Sciences where he modernized the biology curriculum, and he is the former Director of the George Washington Carver Foundation.

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AAAS Newcomb Cleveland Prize

The 2000-2001 Newcomb Cleveland Prize is awarded to the following authors:

  • Nenad Ban, Poul Nissen, Jeffrey Hansen, Peter B. Moore, and Thomas A. Steitz for the research article “The Complete Atomic Structure of the Large Ribosomal Subunit at 2.4 Å Resolution,” published 11 August 2000;
  • Poul Nissen, Jeffrey Hansen, Nenad Ban, Peter B. Moore, and Thomas A. Steitz for the research article “The Structural Basis for Ribosome Activity in Peptide Bond Synthesis,” published 11 August 2000; and
  • Marat M. Yusupov, Gulnara Gh. Yusupova, Albion Baucom, Kate Lieberman, Thomas N. Earnest, J.H.D. Cate, and Harry F. Noller for the research article “Crystal Structure of the Ribosome at 5.5 Å Resolution,” published 4 May 2001.

The Newcomb Cleveland Prize acknowledges an outstanding paper published in the Articles, Research Articles, or Reports sections of Science. This is the oldest of the AAAS Awards. It was established in 1923 with funds donated by Newcomb Cleveland of New York City. Each recipient receives a bronze medal and a share of the $5,000 prize.

Born in 1940, DR. THOMAS A. STEITZ received his bachelor’s degree from Lawrence College in 1962. He pursued graduate work at Harvard University and received his Ph.D. in 1966. For three years, Dr. Steitz served as the Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral Fellow at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK. He joined Yale University’s faculty in 1970 and serves as the Sterling Professor of Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry and Professor of Chemistry. Since 1986, Dr. Steitz has been an investigator for the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Dr. Steitz has been a member of the National Academy of Science and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 1990. His numerous awards include the Pfizer Award in Enzyme Chemistry from the American Chemical Society and the Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research in 2001. He has served as a Macy Fellow in Göttingen, Germany and as a Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology.

A primary research goal of Dr. Steitz’s laboratory has been to understand the biological functions of proteins and nucleic acids in terms of their detailed molecular structure as determined by X-ray crystallography. Dr. Steitz and his co-workers have focused on enzyme reaction mechanisms and protein-nucleic acid interactions exhibited in replication, transcription, translation, and recombination. Their recent structure of the 50S ribosomal subunit provided the first proof that peptide bond formation is catalyzed entirely by RNA.

Having received his bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from the University of California, Berkeley in 1960,DR. HARRY F. NOLLER received his Ph.D. in chemistry from the University of Oregon in 1965. Afterward, Dr. Noller served as a National Institutes of Health Postdoctoral Fellow at the Medical Research Council Laboratory of Molecular Biology in Cambridge, UK and the Institute of Molecular Biology at the University of Geneva, Switzerland. In 1979, he joined the faculty at the University of California, Santa Cruz where he currently serves as the Robert Louis Sinsheimer Professor of Molecular Biology.

Dr. Noller became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999; the RNA Society in 1995, for which he served as President in 1998; and he also became a member of the National Academy of Science in 1992. His honors include being a Fairchild Distinguished Scholar at the California Institute of Technology in 1989 and a recipient in 2001 of the Rosenstiel Award for Distinguished Work in Basic Medical Research.

Experiments in Dr. Noller’s laboratory have pointed to a functional role for ribosomal RNA. rRNA has been implicated in binding tRNA and mRNA to the ribosome, in translational accuracy and even in catalysis of peptide bond formation. Most, if not all, antibiotic inhibitors of translation bind to functional sites in rRNA. Translational elongation and initiation factors bind to conserved elements of rRNA. Biochemical and genetic studies in Dr. Noller’s laboratory are exploring the functional roles of rRNA in the various steps of translation.

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AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize


This year’s recipient of the Philip Hauge Abelson Prize is Dr. Norman E. Borlaug. He is honored for his extraordinary achievements in science, in applying his findings worldwide to prevent famine and improve millions of lives, and in training hundreds of young scientists.

The AAAS Philip Hauge Abelson Prize honors a public servant for exceptional contributions to advancing science or a scientist or engineer for a distinguished career of scientific achievement and service to the community. Established in 1985 by the AAAS Board of Directors, the prize is a tribute to Dr. Abelson’s long-time service as Editor of Science. The winner receives $2,500 and a commemorative medal.

Norman E. Borlaug, born in Cresco, Iowa, and educated at the University of Minnesota, is one of three living U.S. winners of the Nobel Peace Prize. He has, in fact, fed and saved the lives of millions of people across the globe. He received the Nobel in 1970, specifically for his work in reversing food shortages in India and Pakistan in the 1960s. To this day, Dr. Borlaug works with developing countries to teach the techniques of high-yield agronomy. Gregg Easterbrook, in The Atlantic Monthly, noted that Borlaug was “responsible for the fact that throughout the post-World War II era, except in sub-Saharan Africa, global food production has expanded faster than the human population, averting the mass starvations that were widely predicted. The form of agriculture that Borlaug preaches may have prevented a billion deaths.”

Dr. Borlaug received his B.S. in forestry and earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in plant pathology from the University of Minnesota. During his years as a student, he worked from time to time to pay for school and his living expenses. One of the positions he took was with the Civilian Conservation Corps that engaged unemployed and often undernourished men on federal projects. After receiving his Ph.D. and during World War II, Dr. Borlaug worked as a microbiologist for DuPont. Afterward, he joined a new Rockefeller Foundation program in 1944 and spent the next 16 years at the International Maize and Wheat Center outside of Mexico City working to improve wheat crop yields and train future Mexican agronomists. While there, he developed short stalk wheat that was disease resistant and had greater adaptability. By 1960, Dr. Borlaug was poised to expand his program outside of Mexico.

In the 1960s, India and Pakistan, at war, began experiencing famine and widespread starvation. Dr. Borlaug began planting as soon as he could manage cutting through governmental “red-tape” here and in the subcontinent. Once the seeds were planted, yields more than doubled and the imminent crisis was averted. Pakistan’s wheat production grew from 3.5 million tons in 1965 to more than 14 million tons by the early 1990s.

At the same time, India’s average yields rose to 55 million tons from 11 million. With these achievements, it is often noted that Dr. Borlaug established the “Green Revolution.”

Dr. Borlaug’s current passion is to bring his high-yield agronomy to Africa and, as President of the Sasakawa Africa Association, he has worked with farmers in Ethiopia and Sudan. At the same time, Dr. Borlaug serves as a Distinguished Professor of International Agriculture at Texas A&M University where he teaches one semester a year. He has received approximately 46 honorary doctoral degrees from the United States and the international community during his lifetime.

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AAAS Science Journalism Awards

These awards recognize excellence in the reporting of the sciences and engineering and their technological applications.

  • Daily Newspapers with circulation of 100,00 or more
    Scott Shane
    “A Quiet Crusade” (series), Baltimore Sun
    29 September, 21 November 1999; 7 March 2000
  • Newspapers with circulation less than 100,00
    Richard Monastersky
    Nowhere Men: Scientists Debate What Happened to the Neandertals; Under the Volcano; Where Have all the Frogs Gone? Chronicle of Higher Education
    8 September 2000; 30 March, 20 April 2001
  • Magazine Winners
    Heather Pringle 
    “Secrets of the Alpaca Mummies”, Discover
    April 2001
  • Television Winner
    Betsey Arledge, Julia Cort, and Robert Krulwich
    “Cracking the Code”, WGBH/NOVA
    17 April 2001
  • Online Media
    David J. Tenenbaum, Sue Medaris, Terry Devitt, Darrell Schulte, and Amy Toburen
    “Buried Treasure”, The Why Files
    5 November 2000
  • Radio Winner
    Moira K. Rankin and David Barrett Wilson
    “Gamma Ray Skies,” January 28, 2000, “Einstein’s Blunder,” June 23, 2000, “The Fate of the Universe,” July 28, 2000, SOUNDPRINT MediaCenter, Inc.
  • Radio Winner
    Christopher Joyce
    “Wasp Observed Reprogramming a Spider to Adjust Web-building Technique”, “How Life Got Started on Earth Researched”, “Stargazing 1: International Gemini Telescope Project”, National Public Radio
    20 July 2000; 29 January 2001; 4 June 2001

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