Science has earned top honors for short-form science journalism from the D.C. Science Writers Association (DCSWA). The association’s Newsbrief Awards are the only awards to formally recognize excellence in short science journalism.
The 2015 Newsbrief Award in the Writing category went to former Science intern Emily Conover for her ScienceShot “How to prevent a sheep traffic jam.” In fewer than 250 words, Conover’s article details an experimental study that borrows concepts from fluid dynamics to better understand how sheep — and humans — behave in a crowd. Conover is now a writer at the American Physical Society.
One of two honorable mentions in the Writing category went to Emily Underwood, the staff neuroscience writer at Science. Underwood’s article, “Rats forsake chocolate to save a drowning companion,” recounts growing evidence that rodents feel empathy.
“Most science writing awards go to complex, multipart stories, but those awards often fail to recognize one of the most challenging — and most common — tasks of the science writer: writing short,” said a statement from DCSWA. “The DCSWA Newsbrief Awards exist because short, accessible, and accurate pieces make an enormous contribution to the public understanding of science.”
The awards were judged by two panels of science writers and selected from nearly 90 entries published in 2015. This year’s awards were the first in the program’s seven-year history to recognize multimedia in addition to short-form science writing.
The winners will be acknowledged at an awards ceremony on 2 April during DCSWA’s annual Professional Development Day in Washington, D.C.
The full list of winners is available on the DCSWA website.
[Associated image by hanjeanwat licensed by and modified under CC BY 2.0]