Stories exploring the behavior of small animals at the edge of the visible world and others dealing with world-changing forces of climate change are among the winners of the 2022 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards. A trio of stories on aspects of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic also were honored.
The awards, administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), recognize distinguished science reporting for a general audience. The program, endowed by The Kavli Foundation and open to journalists worldwide, drew entries from a record 63 countries this year. Winners included journalists in India, China, Australia, South Korea, Germany and the United Kingdom.
The awards go to individuals rather than institutions, publishers, or employers. There is a Gold Award ($5,000) and Silver Award ($3,500) for each of the eight categories. Independent panels of science journalists select the winners, who will receive their awards in a virtual ceremony held in conjunction with the 2023 AAAS Annual Meeting in March.
The Deep Look digital video series, created by KQED San Francisco and distributed by PBS Digital Studios, won a Gold Award in the Video Spot News/Feature Reporting category for a closeup look at the activities of tiny creatures such as honeypot ants, water bugs and acorn barnacles. The Gold Award in the Video In-Depth Reporting category went to a PBS Nature documentary on “My Garden of a Thousand Bees,” an exercise in citizen science by British filmmaker and bee enthusiast Martin Dohrn, who spent the pandemic lockdown investigating the behavior of more than 60 species of bees he found in his garden.
Kendra Pierre-Louis won the Gold Award in the Magazine category for a piece in MIT Technology Review on how rising groundwater, an overlooked aspect of climate change, could devastate coastal communities. Lois Parshley won a Silver Award in the same category for a piece in Grist, an online magazine, on the impact of climate-driven thawing of permafrost in Alaska.
Pandemic-related winners included a team from Germany’s Sϋddeutsche Zeitung that used an online format to show the structure and behavior of the coronavirus at the atomic level; a report for AJ+, an Al Jazeera outlet, on a side effect of COVID-19 that causes the sense of smell to go haywire; and an in-depth piece, also for MIT Technology Review, by Beijing-based freelancer Jane Qiu on the scientist at the center of the COVID-19 lab leak controversy. It is the second time Qiu has won the award.
The Gold Award in the Science Reporting – Small Outlet category went to Ankur Paliwal in India for a piece for FiftyTwo, an online outlet, on a rare genetic disease called spinocerebellar ataxia and the work of a small group of scientists and doctors to better understand the disorder. A writer for FiftyTwo won the Gold Award in this category last year as well.
“Congratulations to this year’s winners of the AAAS Kavli award,” said Sudip Parikh, CEO of AAAS and Executive Publisher of the Science family of journals. “The media universe is diverse and changing, but these winners show a commitment to the best traditions of science journalism that digs below the surface for stories that matter.”
The full list of winners of the 2022 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards follows. For a description of the winning entries, with comments from the judges and the winners, go to https://sjawards.aaas.org.
Science Reporting – Large Outlet
Juliet Eilperin and Salwan Georges
The Washington Post
This tree has stood here for 500 years. Will it be sold for $17,500?
December 30, 2021
Christoph von Eichhorn, Sandra Hartung, Christian Helten and Sarah Unterhitzenberger
SZ.de (Sϋddeutsche Zeitung, Germany)
Anatomy of a killer
January 7, 2022
Science Reporting – Small Outlet
April 15, 2022
Liza Gross and Anne Marshall-Chalmers
Inside Climate News
A California Water Board Assures the Public that Oil Wastewater Is Safe for Irrigation, But Experts Say the Evidence Is Scant
February 6, 2022
Science Reporting – In-Depth (More than 5,000 words)
Lulu Ramadan, Ash Ngu, Maya Miller and Nadia Sussman
The Palm Beach Post and ProPublica
“Black Snow: Big Sugar’s Burning Problem” — thematic series
The Smoke Comes Every Year. Sugar Companies Say the Air Is Safe.
July 8, 2021
“A Complete Failure of the State”: Authorities Didn’t Heed Researchers’ Calls to Study Health Effects of Burning Sugar Cane
August 19, 2021
Burning Sugar Cane Pollutes Communities of Color in Florida. Brazil Shows There’s Another Way.
December 29, 2021
MIT Technology Review
Meet the scientist at the center of the covid lab leak controversy
February 9, 2022
MIT Technology Review
How rising groundwater caused by climate change could devastate coastal communities
Dec. 13, 2021
Don’t Look Down -- As permafrost thaws, the ground beneath Alaska is collapsing.
April 20, 2022
Spot News/Feature Reporting (20 minutes or less)
Josh Cassidy, Gabriela Quirós, Lesley McClurg, Elyse DeFranco, Teodros Hailye, Kia Simon and Seth Samuel
KQED and PBS Digital Studios
Deep Look: Honeypot Ants Turn Their Biggest Sisters into Jugs of Nectar
April 5, 2022
Deep Look: Barnacles Go To Unbelievable Lengths To Hook Up
April 26, 2022
Deep Look: Don't Go Chasing Water Bugs
June 28, 2022
Yara Elmjouie, Adrienne Blaine, Shadi Rahimi, Matias Sesti and Michael Bendeck
AJ+ (Al Jazeera Media Network)
The bizarre COVID side effect no one is talking about
August 7, 2021
Video In-Depth Reporting (more than 20 minutes)
David Allen, Martin Dohrn, Gaby Bastyra, David Guy Elisco, Sean B. Carroll and Fred Kaufman
My Garden of a Thousand Bees
October 20, 2021
Bella Falk and David Dugan
A NOVA/GBH Production by Windfall Films Ltd. (part of the Argonon Group) for PBS
Ice Age Footprints
May 25, 2022
Arielle Duhaime-Ross, Julia Nutter, Pran Bandi, Annie Avilés and Pete Lang-Stanton
VICE News — A Show About Animals
A Talking Gorilla
November 3, 2021
“A Gorilla Who Lied”
November 10, 2021
November 17, 2021
Ann Jones, Petria Ladgrove, Joel Werner and Jo Khan
ABC Science (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
“Does it fart?”
July 1, 2022
Children’s Science News
Sarah Zielinski, Maria Temming and JoAnna Wendel
Science News Explores
Cockatoos learn from each other how to open garbage bins
October 26, 2021
A panda stands out at the zoo but blends in the wild
December 15, 2021
Goldfish driving ‘cars’ offer new insight into navigation
February 16, 2022
Kids Donga Science (South Korea)
On a journey to finding a happy zoo
November 15, 2021
Home for lost animals, Sanctuary
December 1, 2021
Link to the stories and their translations: