Award Winners

2022

Science Reporting – In-Depth

Gold

The Smoke Comes Every Year. Sugar Companies Say the Air Is Safe.

The Palm Beach Post and ProPublica -- July 8, 2021

“A Complete Failure of the State”: Authorities Didn’t Heed Researchers’ Calls to Study Health Effects of Burning Sugar Cane

The Palm Beach Post and ProPublica -- August 19, 2021

Burning Sugar Cane Pollutes Communities of Color in Florida. Brazil Shows There’s Another Way.

The Palm Beach Post and ProPublica -- December 29, 2021

For years, residents in the Glades area of west central Florida have breathed smoke from sugar cane fires, set six months of every year as a pre-harvest practice. Locals call the ash that rains down on the community during burning season “black snow.” While sugar companies and regulators offer assurances that the air is safe, The Palm Beach Post and ProPublica used their own monitoring equipment to show repeated spikes in pollution on days when the state had authorized cane burning. Experts were concerned, saying the short-term spikes, which often reached four times the...Read more

Silver

Meet the scientist at the center of the covid lab leak controversy

MIT Technology Review -- February 9, 2022

In a deeply reported 10,000-word story on the controversy over the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the cause of the COVID-19 pandemic, Beijing-based science writer Jane Qiu gained unparalleled access to the Wuhan Institute of Virology and the lab of Shi Zhengli. Known as China’s “bat woman,” Shi has devoted her career to tracing links between coronaviruses in bats and human disease. Shi’s lab was the first to isolate the deadly new virus and the first to sequence its genome. Shi has been subject to intense international scrutiny and charges that an errant virus from her lab rather than a...Read more

2021

Science Reporting – In-Depth

Gold

"What's Going on Inside the Fearsome Thunderstorms of Córdoba Province?" July 22, 2020

The New York Times Magazine

Noah Gallagher Shannon created a storm chaser story for a new and undetermined meteorological landscape. As climate change increases both the size and intensity of storms worldwide, atmospheric scientists are struggling to predict stronger and increasingly erratic weather patterns. For some scientists, “the chaos wrought by climate change requires radically rethinking some of meteorology’s core concepts,” writes Shannon. One group of scientists, led by University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign professor Steve Nesbitt, is studying the monster storms in northern Argentina to produce a...Read more

Silver

"Hoe Chips en Dip stierven voor een vaccin" (How Chips and Dip died for a vaccine) July 10, 2021

De Volkskrant (The Netherlands)

Maartje Bakker of De Volkskrant gained permission from the Biomedical Primate Research Center (BPRC) in Rijswijk, The Netherlands, to follow a study of an experimental COVID-19 vaccine as it was tested in monkeys. “Never before have outsiders seen at such close quarters how such an experiment is conducted” at the BPRC, Bakker wrote. “It is something that makes the researchers at the BPRC nervous. They know that they receive a lot of criticism from society.” But she added, “They also feel that the time when monkey research is surrounded by secrecy should be over.” Bakker recounted...Read more

2020

Science Reporting – In-Depth

Gold

"How the Pandemic Will End" March 25, 2020

The Atlantic

"Why the Coronavirus Is So Confusing" April 29, 2020

The Atlantic

"America's Patchwork Pandemic Is Fraying Even Further" May 20, 2020

The Atlantic

Ed Yong of The Atlantic told his readers some hard truths about the COVID-19 pandemic. Scientists and public health specialists had long warned that such a global outbreak was inevitable. The United States ― despite its high score on the Global Health Security Index ― failed to measure up when tested by the novel coronavirus, partly because the White House had become what Yong called a “ghost town of scientific expertise.” In March when the pandemic was starting to grab hold in the U.S., Yong wrote: “Rudderless, blindsided, lethargic, and uncoordinated, America has mishandled the...Read more

Silver

2°C: Beyond the Limit (series)

The Washington Post

"Extreme climate change has arrived in America" Aug. 13, 2019

"Dangerous new hot zones are spreading around the world" Sept. 11, 2019

"The climate chain reaction that threatens the heart of the Pacific" Nov. 19, 2019

In three stories from their "2°C: Beyond the Limit” series, the Washington Post team reported that climate change is real and already is occurring globally. They noted that a 2-degree Celsius average temperature rise has emerged among scientists and policymakers as a global benchmark for extreme climate change. They took a closer look at some of the major climate change hot spots in the United States and elsewhere. By analyzing more than a century of NOAA temperature data, the team located several U.S. areas that are nearing or have already crossed the 2-degree Celsius...Read more