Award Winners

2015

Large Newspaper

Silver

"Stéthoscope, Il n'a plus le monopole du coeur" (The stethoscope no longer holds a monopoly over our hearts) - 26 Nov. 2014

"Anguilles, Sept mille lieues sous les mers" (Eels, 7000 leagues under the sea) - 17 Dec. 2014

"La souris, Reine contestée des labos" (The mouse, challenged queen of the lab) - 18 Feb. 2015

Le Monde

 

In three well-crafted stories, Nathaniel Herzberg of Le Monde told his readers about the decline of the stethoscope as the undisputed symbol of the working physician; the efforts of scientists since the time of the ancient Greeks to understand the migration and metamorphoses of the European eel that crosses the Atlantic twice during its life cycle; and the diminished allure of mice as experimental subjects for the study of human diseases. Tim Radford, former science editor of The Guardian, called the Silver Award winner's work "a triptych of...Read more

Small Newspaper

Silver

"Arien für die Wissenschaft" (Arias for Science) - 24 Dec. 2014

Neue Zürcher Zeitung (Switzerland)

 

Helga Rietz wrote an engaging story on efforts by Matthias Echternach — who is both a trained singer and a medical doctor — to study the physiology of the singing voice. Using high-speed cameras, endoscopes, custom-made masks to measure pressure and airflow in the throat, and magnetic resonance imaging, Echternach is looking for the physical attributes of a dramatic operatic voice, including that of soprano Renate Behle, one of his test subjects. There are as many questions as answers, Rietz notes, including the mystery of exactly how a singer controls the tiny...Read more

Magazine

Silver

"The Man Who Tried to Redeem the World with Logic" - March/April 2015

Nautilus

 

Amanda Gefter described the fascinating life of Walter Pitts, who was bullied as a child in Detroit and took refuge in the local library where he taught himself Greek, Latin, logic, and mathematics. He ran away from home at age 15, became a pioneer in neuroscience and cybernetics at MIT, and later became a withdrawn alcoholic. Pitts worked with Warren McCulloch, who was born at the other end of the economic spectrum in a family of privilege. "McCulloch and Pitts were destined to live, work, and die together," Gefter writes. "Along the way, they would create the first...Read more

Television: Spot News/Feature Reporting

Silver

"Will a robotic arm ever have the full functionality of a human limb?" - 12 Feb. 2015

"Can modern prosthetics actually help reclaim the sense of touch?" - 13 Feb. 2015

PBS NewsHour

 

In a two-part series, PBS NewsHour science correspondent Miles O'Brien — whose left arm was amputated in 2014 after an unlikely accident while he was on a reporting assignment in Japan — discussed the status of prosthetics development and the challenges in developing a fully functional human limb. Judge Eliene Augenbraun, senior video producer for Scientific American, said O'Brien's reporting was a "refreshingly skeptical look" at what it will take to make advanced prosthetics widely available. She found O'Brien "completely lacking in self-pity"...Read more

Television: In-Depth/Feature Reporting

Silver

"Genetic Me" - 26 Nov. 2014

Danish Broadcasting Corporation

 

Danish journalist Lone Frank and director Pernille Rose Grønkjær took viewers on a deeply personal journey of discovery as Frank explored current research on the genetic factors at play in personality development. "Genes and environment can never be seen as isolated from each other," Frank says. "They're engaged in an eternal exchange." Baron called the documentary "one of the most original pieces of TV science journalism I have ever seen." Richard Hudson, director of science production for Twin Cities Public Television, called it a memorable film in which Frank "...Read more

Radio

Silver

"Climate change in Minnesota: More heat, more big storms" - 2 Feb. 2015

"A forest dilemma: What will grow in a changing climate?" - 3 Feb. 2015

"As state warms, a few spots keep their cool" - 3 Feb. 2015

Minnesota Public Radio

 

Dan Kraker and Elizabeth Dunbar of Minnesota Public Radio described the current and likely effects of climate change in their home state, particularly on the changing makeup of the northern forests. They noted the changes already occurring in Minnesota's climate, with warmer temperatures on average, especially in winter, and bigger downpours of rain. Red maple trees, which tolerate warmer temperatures, are moving northward. Cold-tolerant pine trees are dying out. While managers of Minnesota's forests know their world is changing, they disagree on how urgently new...Read more

Online

Silver

"How Ebola Roared Back" - 29 Dec. 2014

The New York Times

 

A New York Times team described how, for a fleeting moment in the spring of 2014, the Ebola epidemic that subsequently swept through West Africa might have been stopped. The winners included reporters Sheri Fink, Kevin Sack, Adam Nossiter and Pam Belluck; freelance photographer Daniel Berehulak; independent video producer Dan Edge (for Frontline); and the New York Times graphics team. The Times reporters discovered that World Health Organization and Guinean health authorities had documented that a handful of people in Sierra Leone had...Read more

Children's Science News

Silver

"Science Trek: Bats - White Nose Syndrome" - 16 Sept. 2014

Idaho Public Television

 

Joan Cartan-Hansen showed scientists at work in an underground chamber at an old power plant in Idaho, swabbing the forearms and noses of hibernating bats in search of evidence for a deadly fungus that has been killing millions of bats across the nation. Cartan-Hansen described the importance of the research in determining whether the outbreak of white nose syndrome had reached southwestern Idaho (there was no evidence of it in the power plant building), and she noted that humans can spread the disease by transporting the fungus on their shoes and clothing from caves...Read more