Award Winners

2010

Magazine

"The Placebo Problem" - September 2009

Wired

 

Steve Silberman told how an increasing number of medications are unable to beat dummy pills called placebos in head-to-head clinical testing, a point that has huge implications for the pharmaceutical industry. Only belatedly, he found, have researchers been trying to fully understand the power of the body’s response to placebos, and the real potential of that response to affect human health. Guy Gugliotta, a freelance science writer, said Silberman’s piece was “superbly written and superbly researched.” Mary Knudson, a freelance writer and journalism teacher at The Johns...Read more

2009

Magazine

"Barcode of Life" - October 2008

Wired

 

Gary Wolf, a contributing editor for Wired, took readers into the arcane field of taxonomy to follow an evolutionary biologist who is convinced that he can build a simple, universal identification system for all animals. If barcodes work for cans of soup on the grocer’s shelf, he asked, why not for bugs? “In this fresh and engaging tale, Gary Wolf doggedly pursues the trail of a scientist in pursuit of a theory,” said Mary Knudson, a freelance who teaches science writing at The Johns Hopkins University. “This story has it all—a compelling narrative, illuminating...Read more

2008

Magazine

"Do Cholesterol Drugs Do Any Good?" - 28 Jan. 2008

BusinessWeek

 

In a cover story for BusinessWeek, Carey wrote a thought-provoking, carefully documented piece looking at the question of whether the benefits of statin drugs may be overstated except in the case of high-risk heart patients. The story looked at the statistical methods used in research on statins, including the little-known but useful statistic called the “number needed to treat,” or NNT. Carey also discussed the design of clinical trials aimed at proving the benefit of heart drugs and the underlying biochemistry of statins. Guy Gugliotta, a freelance science...Read more

2007

Magazine

"How Not to Talk to Your Kids" - 19 Feb. 2007

New York

 

Po Bronson and Ashley Merryman won for their piece in New York magazine on the science of praising children. According to a Columbia University survey, 85 percent of American parents think it is important to tell their children that they are smart, helping to ensure that they do not sell their talents short. But in a cover story in New York magazine, Bronson and Merryman described a growing body of research which suggests that giving kids the label “smart” does not prevent them from underperforming. Rather, it may actually be a cause of...Read more

2006

Magazine

"Building a Better Banana" - October 2005

Smithsonian Magazine

 

Millions depend on the banana to stay alive. With diseases threatening many banana varieties, scientists are searching for new hybrids. In a lively account, Canine described the research effort and the ingenious methods being used to breed a better banana. “This was such an evocative piece that I had to go home and eat a banana,” said Seth Borenstein of the Associated Press. “This article had everything you look for—depth, detail, significance and science. Truly an enjoyable read.”

Canine said he hopes his story brought "wider attention to the pressing scientific...Read more

2005

Magazine

"The Climate of Man" - 25 Apr. 2005; 2 May 2005 ; 9 May 2005 - Elizabeth Kolbert

"The Bell Curve" - 6 Dec. 2004 - Atul Gawande

The New Yorker

 

A doctor’s use of science and skill may be the easiet part of patient care, Gawande wrote in his winning piece. But the best outcomes can depend on other, more nebulous factors “like aggressiveness and consistency and ingenuity.”

“Gawande’s article described how doctors respond to the sometimes painful product of good scientific analysis,” said Neil Munro of the National Journal, who served as a judge.

"I think there is an enormous amount to be learned from close, detailed observation of cases,"  said Gawande, who is a practicing surgeon as well...Read more

2004

Magazine

"The Unseen Genome: Gems among the Junk" - November 2003

Scientific American

2003

Magazine

2002

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2001

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2000

Magazine

"AIDS: The Agony of Africa" (series) - 30 Nov, and 7, 21 Dec. 1999

The Village Voice

1999

Magazine

"Touched by Nature" - 27 July 1998

"A Fresh Jolt for Fusion" - 28 Sept. 1998

"Rediscovering America" - 12 Oct. 1998

U.S. News & World Report

1998

Magazine

"How Genetics is Changing Our Lives" - 30 Sept.- 30 Dec. 1997

The Village Voice

1997

Magazine

1996

Magazine