2002 Recipients: Large Newspaper

AAAS Science Journalism Awards



An award-winning journalist and author, Andrew Revkin has spent 20 years covering subjects ranging from murder in the Amazon to the terror and anthrax attacks, from the plight of the working poor in America to the political clash over global warming.

Since 1995, he has been a reporter for The New York Times, mainly covering environmental issues. He was also part of the Times’ Pulitzer-winning “Nation Challenged” team and a contributor to the best-selling book drawn from the coverage. His 50-odd features related to 9/11 included a vivid report on the impact of drought on the Afghan conflict; an exclusive look at secret efforts to develop ground-penetrating precision weapons; accounts of how anthrax spores sifted through the postal network; and a portrait of West Point cadets, three days after the attacks, suddenly jettisoning a curriculum based on old notions of warfare.

Before joining the paper, Revkin spent five years writing books. His first, The Burning Season (Houghton Mifflin, 1990), chronicles the life of Chico Mendes, the slain leader of the movement to save the Amazon rain forest. The Burning Season won the Sidney Hillman Foundation Book Prize and a Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, was published in nine languages, and was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. The Burning Season was the basis for the HBO film of the same name, starring Raul Julia and directed by John Frankenheimer. The film won two Golden Globes and two Emmys.

Revkin also wrote Global Warming: Understanding the Forecast (Abbeville, 1992). Al Gore lauded Global Warming, saying, “Andy Revkin masterfully presents the problem and powerfully calls each of us to action.” The book was the companion volume to the first museum exhibition on climate change, created by the American Museum of Natural History.

Revkin has been a senior editor of Discover, a staff writer at the Los Angeles Times, and a senior writer at Science Digest. He has also written for The New YorkerAudubonConde Nast Traveler, and other magazines. His opinion pieces have appeared in the Los Angeles Times, Christian Science Monitor, Newsday, and the Brazilian paper O Globo.

His articles have won many journalism awards, including the American Association for the Advancement of Science Journalism Award and an Investigative Reporters & Editors Award. He has lectured frequently on writing and the environment at colleges across the country from the University of Utah to Yale, and has discussed environmental issues on the Today Show, Good Morning America, NPR, and CNN.

Revkin occasionally writes about pop music, and a 1997 Times profile of a heavy-metal singer was the basis for Rock Star, a September 2001 release starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston.

He has a biology degree from Brown University and a master’s in journalism from Columbia. He lives in the Hudson River Valley with his wife and two sons. Revkin is also a songwriter and guitarist, occasionally accompanying Pete Seeger at regional festivals.