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AAAS Honors Four Religion Journalists

Clockwise from left: Betsy Shirley, Sojourners magazine, Tiffany Stanley, Freelance writer, Lauren Markoe, Religion News Service, Julie Zauzmer, The Washington Post | Credit: Photos by winners.

Four accomplished journalists whose work focuses on religion and other faith issues have been selected as the 2016 recipients of the AAAS Science for Religion Reporters Award that will expose the winners to the latest scientific discoveries and provide unique ways to deliver science news to a diverse audience.

Ari Goldman, director of Columbia Journalism School’s Scripps Howard Program in Religion, Journalism and the Spiritual Life, who served as an independent judge of the competition for the second year, said he was again impressed with the quality of the applicant pool. “It is great to know that such great work on religion and science is being done and to meet people who have particular aptitude in this area,” said Goldman.

The winners will each receive a $4,000 award at a ceremony to be held at the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston 17 February. There, the journalists who write for prominent magazines, newspapers and wire services, will have access to hundreds of scientists at the forefront of science and their latest research as well as the opportunity to network with the many science journalists who attend the annual gathering of the world’s largest general scientific organization.

The awardees were competitively selected by an external review panel of journalists and academics with expertise in either science or religion reporting.

“AAAS has for many years offered no-strings-attached support for excellence in science journalism, through programs such as the historic AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards, the Mass Media Science and Engineering Fellowships and the EurekAlert! science-news website,” said Ginger Pinholster, the association’s chief communications officer. The award is administered by AAAS’ Dialogue on Science, Ethics and Religion program.

Pinholster said the Science for Religion Reporters Award has allowed AAAS to broaden its efforts “to recognize excellence across additional fields of journalism. We commend this year’s award winners and their dedication to communicating issues at the intersection of science and society.”

The Science for Religion Reporters Award honors journalists who reach public audiences attentive to religion and culture and who have a demonstrated interest in science-related reporting. The program is funded by a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, with support from AAAS.

The winners are:

Lauren Markoe – Religion News Service

Betsy Shirley – Sojourners magazine

Tiffany Stanley – a freelance writer

Julie Zauzmer – The Washington Post