“I never had more fun or learned more than during the months I spent in the lab researching this series,” said Terry McDermott, who won the award in the 2008 large-newspaper category for his series on “Chasing Memory” in the Los Angeles Times. It was the last series he wrote for the paper—he was let go as part of the paper’s effort to substantially reduce staff. McDermott previously had won the large-newspaper award in 1995 while he was at The Seattle Times.

The judges praised McDermott’s ambitious, meticulously reported series on memory and the brain. McDermott described the efforts of neuroscientist Gary Lynch to answer such fundamental questions as: What happens in our brain when we encounter a new experience so that we can recall it at will tonight, tomorrow, or in 2025? And what goes wrong when we can’t remember? Andrew Revkin of The New York Times said the series “exploring the mysteries of memory and the meandering pathways at the frontiers of understanding was a superb example of narrative science journalism.” Pete Spotts of the The Christian Science Monitor called it a “captivating, inside look at cutting-edge science, with all the triumphs and setbacks—and personal conflicts.”