Award Winners

2013

Children's Science News

"Kaltwasserkorallen: Ein Paradies am Meeresgrund" (Cold Water Corals: Paradise on the Seabed) - October 2012

GEOlino magazine (Germany)

 

Barbara Lich of GEOlino, a German science magazine for children, won the children's science news award, established in 2005. Until 2015, it was the only AAAS science journalism award open to writers for media outlets not based in the United States.

While corals have been well-studied in tropical reefs, Lich told her young readers about the lesser-known cold water corals living hundreds of meters below the ocean's surface, a realm only reachable by a crewed submersible. She accompanied a team of research biologists from the Helmholtz Center for Oceanic Research...Read more

2012

Large Newspaper

"Evolution Right Under Our Noses" - 26 July 2011

"A Sharp Rise in Retractions Prompts a Call for Reform" - 17 Apr. 2012

"Tending the Body’s Microbial Garden" - 19 June 2012

The New York Times

 

Carl Zimmer, a freelance science writer, won the award for the large newspaper category for three stories published in The New York Times, including a piece about the trillions of microbes that reside on and in our bodies. Zimmer, who previously won in the large newspaper category in 2009 and in the online category in 2004, also wrote about evolution in the every-day urban environment of New York City as well as concerns about a rise in scientific journal retractions.

“I’m deeply grateful to my editors at The New York Times for letting me follow my...Read more

Magazine

"Crisis in the Caves" - July/August 2011

Smithsonian

 

Nijhuis donned a protective suit and went underground to observe both bats and biologists as she reported on white-nose syndrome, a fast-moving fungal disease that has killed more than a million cave-dwelling bats in the northeastern United States and is threatening to spread across the continent. The judges noted the scope of the Nijhuis story, which provided an in-depth look at an issue that has been emerging since 2007 when the disease was first discovered in bats behaving oddly in upstate New York. Andrew Revkin, a senior fellow at Pace University and Dot Earth blogger...Read more

Television: Spot News/Feature Reporting

"Hetch Hetchy Aqueduct: Big Fixes for Big Quakes" - 9 Nov. 2011

KQED/QUEST

 

Much of the Hetch Hetchy water delivery system for the San Francisco Bay Area was built in the 1920s and 1930s with riveted steel pipes that don’t perform well during earthquakes. At a cost of $4.6 billion, the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission has been installing new pipes and employing state-of-the-art engineering elements. In a solid mix of historical footage and on-the-scene reporting, with an appreciation for the challenges involved, KQED’s Sheraz Sadiq explained the engineering steps being undertaken to protect the Bay Area’s water supply. Guy Gugliotta, a...Read more

Television: In-Depth/Feature Reporting

"Cracking Your Genetic Code" - 28 Mar. 2012

WGBH/NOVA

 

Sarah Holt, who  is now a three-time winner of the award, was honored along with executive producer Laurie Donnelly for a NOVA documentary, “Cracking Your Genetic Code.” The program, which was written, produced and directed by Holt, explored what it could mean when each of us, for a reasonable cost, can have all of the information in our DNA read, stored and available for analysis. The readout on your genes will reveal the risks of developing certain diseases as well as the chances you might pass them along to your children. The program also discussed the moral dilemmas...Read more

Radio

"Particles: Nuclear Power After Fukushima" - 11 Mar. 2012

SoundVision Productions for American Public Media

 

The program, part of a series called “BURN: An Energy Journal,” was a one-year anniversary special examining the future of nuclear power after the disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi plant in Japan. It featured an interview with an American nuclear technician who was working inside the plant when the tsunami and earthquake struck. It also included tape recordings from inside the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s Emergency Operations Center as officials struggled to shape America’s response to the Fukushima disaster. Seth Borenstein, a science reporter for the Associated...Read more

Online

"Elwha: The Grand Experiment" - 17 Sept. 2011

The Seattle Times

 

On the Olympic Peninsula in the state of Washington, the largest dam-removal project in North America is underway. At a cost of $325 million, two dams that have blocked salmon runs on the Elwha River for more than a century are being removed in a grand experiment in ecological restoration that is posing challenges for engineers and scientists alike. State, federal and tribal scientists are gathering baseline data on what the river basin is like today and what it could become as 800 acres drowned by the dam reservoirs are seeded with hundreds of thousands of native plants....Read more

Children's Science News

"Uninvited Guests" - April/May 2012

Current Health Kids

 

Kirsten Weir wrote for her young readers about the microbes that inhabit our bodies and help in many cases to keep invading organisms at bay. “Kids often seem to think that science is something that happens in a laboratory or a faraway place,” Weir said. “I loved that this story underscored how much is still unknown about the organisms living right under our noses (not to mention the rest of our bodies).”

Weir described for her young readers the parasites, microbes, and creepy-crawlies that live in (and on) the human body. In her lively tour of our hitch-hiking...Read more

2011

Large Newspaper

"One in a Billion: A Boy’s Life, A Medical Mystery" - 19, 22, 26 Dec. 2010

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

 

Mark Johnson and Kathleen Gallagher of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel won in the large newspaper category for “One in a Billion,” a compelling series about the use of genomics to find the cause of an unknown disease that was eating away at the gut of four-year-old Nicholas Volker. Robert Lee Hotz, a science writer for The Wall Street Journal who served on the judging panel, called the series “a richly reported and brilliantly told epic of biomedicine.”

“From the day we began working on ‘One in a Billion,’ we knew that understanding and explaining...Read more

Small Newspaper

"On Thinning Ice: A look at Wind River Range’s shrinking glaciers" (series) - 23-25 Jan. 2011

Casper Star-Tribune

 

Christine Peterson, Kerry Huller and Wes Watson of Wyoming’s Casper Star-Tribune won for a series on the shrinking glaciers in the Wind River Range and the possible impacts locally. “Kudos to the Casper Star-Tribune for devoting energy and ink to explaining the science right in its readers’ back yards,” said judge Nancy Shute, a freelance science writer and contributor to NPR.

Peterson and her colleagues looked at the work of local Wyoming scientists who have been studying the glacier ecosystem of the Wind River Range, including how microbes have been...Read more

Magazine

"The Angels’ Share" - June 2011

Wired

 

Why is the town around a Canadian whiskey warehouse coated with a strange black fungus? Rogers explored some of the mysteries of microbiology in an unusual locale and took readers on an engaging, lively journey of exploration. “The story skillfully slips the spinach of science into the reader as smoothly as a shot of fine whiskey,” said science reporter Dan Vergano of USA Today. Laura Helmuth, a senior editor for Smithsonian magazine, called it “a charming story—unexpected, vivid, dramatic.” She added that Rogers “deftly explains the relevant history, chemistry, evolutionary...Read more

Television: Spot News/Feature Reporting

"Going Up: Sea Level Rise in San Francisco Bay" - 31 Aug. 2010

KQED/QUEST Climate Watch

 

A team from KQED, San Francisco, looked at the potential impact of sea level rise on the San Francisco Bay. The QUEST/Climate Watch co-production “used the visual medium of television effectively as it laid out the facts—and uncertainties—surrounding rising sea levels,” said Richard Harris, a science correspondent for NPR who served as a judge.

Along with the rest of the world’s oceans and estuaries, San Francisco Bay is rising. The changes are slow and barely perceptible, but even the most optimistic estimates about how high and how quickly this rise will occur...Read more

Television: In-Depth/Feature Reporting

"Japan’s Killer Quake" - 30 Mar. 2011

WGBH-NOVA

In a gripping account of the aftermath of the 11 March 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, the WGBH/NOVA team looked at the impact of the disaster and the search for answers by scientists in the field. Richard Harris of NPR said that the producers “moved with astonishing speed to tell the story of a still-unfolding disaster.” Richard Hudson, director of science production for Twin Cities Public Television, said the program used “breathtaking footage not seen in other broadcasts” and offered an “excellent treatment of the drama and the underlying science.” Robert Strange, executive...Read more

Radio

"Clever Apes" - Series 1 - 26 July 2010

"Clever Apes" - Series 2 - 24 Nov. 2010

"Clever Apes" - Series 3 - 24 May 2011

WBEZ (Chicago)

 

Spitzer and De Bonis won for several segments in the ongoing “Clever Apes” series on WBEZ public radio. The series tells the stories of Chicago-area researchers and some of the intriguing questions they are out to answer. The winning segments dealt with pain research at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago and Northwestern University’s Medical School; work by a Field Museum scientist in search of an elusive monkey in Tanzania that turned out to be part of an entirely new genus; the theory of a Northwestern University engineer on the origin of consciousness; tales of how...Read more

Online

“The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers” Series One - 6 Oct. 2010

“The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers” Series Two - 2 Feb. 2011

The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers” Series Three - 16 Feb. 2011

PBS NOVA Online

 

PBS NOVA Online’s “Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers” offers a sometimes surprising look at the avocations and enthusiasms of researchers who pursue the mysteries of science. William Saletan, who covers science for Slate, called the winning entry “a delightfully engaging, visually creative series that illuminates the intrigue and texture of science through the personalities of its people.”

The winning online video series introduced scientists and engineers in both their professional and personal lives. The subjects included a neurobiologist who meditates, a...Read more