2011 Radio


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 our brains keep a beat; and how vibrations can unlock some of the planet’s oldest seismic secrets. “Spitzer tells his stories in such an engaging manner that it makes the science not just interesting, but downright fun, without dumbing it down,” said science writer Seth Borenstein of The Associated Press. Larry Engel, an independent filmmaker who is on the faculty at American University, said that Spitzer’s “well-crafted storytelling and humor combine to bring laughter and understanding of science to the listener.” Spitzer previously received a “Certificate of Merit” in the radio category in 2010. “It’s especially gratifying that the judges have chosen to recognize an example of locally focused reporting, and I hope that science journalism at local stations and news outlets continues to grow stronger,” Spitzer said.