A compelling story on the current scientific understanding of Alzheimer's disease, a series on the impact of climate change in the American West, and a lively look at efforts to grow a better banana are among the winners of the 2006 AAAS Science Journalism Awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).
Independent panels of science journalists chose the winners of the awards, which honor excellence in science reporting for print, radio, television and online categories. The awards, established in 1945, include a recently added prize for coverage of science news for children that is open to journalists worldwide.
"I am thrilled to receive this award from AAAS," said Stacey Burling of The Philadelphia Inquirer, who won for a story about the life and death of an Alzheimer's patient. "I wanted to write about what dementia does to the brain, but worried that readers would find the science too difficult at times unless I found a way to make the story very personal." Her story on the Rev. Bob Moore, who died in December 2005, combined science and biography in a gripping fashion.
Craig Canine, who won for a freelance story in Smithsonian magazine on "Building a Better Banana," said he was "gratified and humbled to be associated with the distinguished journalists whom the AAAS has honored with these awards over the years." Canine said he hopes his story brings "wider attention to the pressing scientific need to breed new, disease-resistant crop varieties for the use of subsistence farmers in Africa and elsewhere."
The awards, which have been given to nearly 400 journalists since the competition began, are sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. The winners will receive $3,000 and a plaque at the 2007 AAAS Annual Meeting in San Francisco in February.
"Outstanding science writing is essential if the public is to better understand complex issues such as climate chan
Contact: Lonnie Shekhtman
American Association for the Advancement of Science