Award Winners

2007

Large Newspaper

"Altered Oceans" - 30 July — 3 Aug. 2006

Los Angeles Times

 

Kenneth Weiss and Usha Lee McFarling of the Los Angeles Times won for an ambitious series that examined the profound disturbances that have been occurring in the ecology of the world’s oceans.

“The Altered Oceans series was an unusual undertaking for a newspaper,” Weiss said. “there was no single dramatic event like a hurricane or tsunami. No mass human deaths. Instead, we looked at the slow creep of environmental decay — the kind of changes that most people never notice.”

The series described how industrial society has been overdosing the...Read more

Small Newspaper

"Getting to the Bottom of Mysterious Elk Deaths" - 26 Nov. 2006 and 3 Dec. 2006

Wyoming Tribune-Eagle

 

A rash of mysterious elk deaths in Wyoming in 2004 left scientists and game wardens wondering what had happened. Frazer described the steps by which researchers determined that a poisonous lichen was the likely cause. In a two-part series, Frazer also described efforts to save the remaining elk and help the species recover. Calling her series an example of “superb local science writing,” Robert Lee Hotz of The Wall Street Journal said Frazer “opens a window into the mysteries of field epidemiology, turning a story of doomed elk into a page-turner of a...Read more

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

Television (1981-2009)

"Forgotten Genius" - 6 Feb. 2007

WGBH/NOVA

 

The grandson of Alabama slaves, African-American scientist Percy Julian overcame racial discrimination to become one of the leading chemists of the 20th century. The winning WGBH/NOVA program told his remarkable and largely unknown story. The program describes not only Julian’s early struggles to open doors traditionally closed to blacks but also his keen sense for how to do science. His work with steroids and alkaloids helped bring about a host of affordable and effective treatments for diseases like rheumatoid arthritis and glaucoma. The judges praised the program for its...Read more

Radio

"The Electric Brain" - 8-11 Jan. 2007

KPLU-FM Seattle/Tacoma

 

In a thematic series, Keith Seinfeld of KPLU-FM in Seattle/Tacoma described the electrical properties of the human brain and how scientists are finding new ways to use those properties to treat diseases and injuries. The judges were impressed by his clear, concise language and great use of sound in telling about important research in neuroscience. “While a drill whines in the background, cutting a hole in the top of a patient’s skull, Keith Seinfeld carries his listeners into the story,” said Jeff Nesmith, a Washington-based science writer for Cox Newspapers. “This kind of...Read more

Online

"Lake Superior Basin Climate Change series" - 3 May 2007; 3 June 2007; 30 June 2007

KeweenawNow.com

 

Katie Alvord, a freelance reporter who won in the online categeory for her stories on the changing environment of Michigan’s Upper Pennisula, said the award “makes the intense work I did to write this online article series even more worthwhile.” She added, “Especially for a small-town freelancer like me, it’s a real boost to get this kind of recognition.”

In a solid example of localized science reporting for a community-based Web site, freelance writer Alvord described the potential local impacts of global warming on a local Michigan community. Kathy Sawyer, a...Read more

Children's Science News

"A Whale of a Mystery" - 15 Jan. 2007

Scholastic Science World

 

Chiang told her young readers about an investigation by scientists into the puzzling death of a North Atlantic right whale that was spotted drifting off the coast of Nova Scotia. She described various clues that the researchers followed in trying to determine the cause of death. They eventually concluded that a large, blunt object had hit the whale on one side. Catherine Hughes, a senior editor for National Geographic Kids magazine, said the story met all the criteria. “The mystery is an immediate draw for kids, as is the compelling species, the ever-...Read more

Certificate of Merit

"The Show of the Beautiful Slimers" - 7 Feb. 2007

GEOlino Magazine (Germany)

 

The judging panel recommended a special Certificate of Merit for the runner-up in the children’s news cateogry. Sina Löschke, a writer for GEOlino — a German science magazine for children — wrote an engaging piece about sea slugs. “With lively, imaginative writing and colorful pictures, the story deftly introduces readers to these unusual ocean denizens and cogently explains their biological quirks,” said John Carey of Business Week. Löschke’s piece was published on 7 February 2007.

 ...Read more