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2009 AIBS Media Award

Chip Rowe, a senior editor of Playboy magazine, has won the 2009 Media Award of the American Institute of Biological Sciences (AIBS), given to a journalist for outstanding reporting on biological research in either print or broadcast journalism. Rowe's story, "Sexual Male: The Hard Facts," is part 5 of a 6-part series in the magazine on scientists' findings during the past decade relating to male and female sexual development. This segment of the series appeared in the November 2008 issue of Playboy. In addition to being a contributor to the magazine, Rowe is the Playboy Advisor, responding each month to more than 500 letters and emails from readers about sexuality, health, dating, relationships, and other topics of interest. He is the author of Dear Playboy Advisor: Questions from Men and Women to the Advice Column of Playboy Magazine.

An honorable mention was awarded to Martin Enserink, contributing correspondent to Science magazine, for his article titled "Tough Lessons from Golden Rice," which appeared on 25 April 2008. The article details how opposition to genetically modified crops has delayed cultivation of a form of rice that could prevent infant blindness.

Purpose of Award

AIBS encourages communication of biology to the general public and aims to foster a better understanding of how biological research is relevant to society as a whole. The AIBS Media Award was established in 1995 to recognize excellence in reporting on topics pertaining to biological sciences. Entries are judged on the basis of clarity of purpose, originality of subject, reporting and writing skills, and appeal to the general public.

This year's judging panel comprised two scientists and two journalists. The panel commented: "In 'Sexual Male: The Hard Facts,' Chip Rowe tackled a topic of keen human interest with rare verve and wit, cramming in a remarkable amount of sciencefrom biochemistry and evolution to psychologyin his entertaining and informative tour of the male anatomy. The judges also appreciated that the story's placement in a publication outside the conventional sphere of science journalism should help fulfill AIBS's ambitions of reaching a wider audience with its message about the importance and relevance of the biological sciences."

Judges for 2009 Media Award

Dr. Karen Bushaw-Newton is an aquatic ecologist in the Department of Environmental Science at American University. Her research focuses on the microbial ecology and biogeochemistry of aquatic systems and the restoration of degraded aquatic systems. Her work includes tracing the movements of carbon and nitrogen in boreal beaver ponds in northern Canada, the coasts of Georgia and New Jersey, and the Chesapeake Bay. Bushaw-Newton has studied the effects of dam removal on aquatic ecosystems and is presently looking at microbial dynamics of systems found in the Chesapeake Bay watershed.

John Carey, a senior correspondent in Business Week's Washington Bureau, has covered science, technology, medicine, health, energy, and the environment since joining the magazine in 1989. During that time, Carey has written articles on everything from sequencing the human genome and global warming to tobacco regulation and election technology. His stories have won journalism awards from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the Deadline Club, the Overseas Press Club, and AIBS. His degrees are in biochemistry, marine biology, and forest ecology.

Dr. Susan Haseltine is the Associate Director for biology at the US Geological Survey (USGS). She began her federal career as a researcher with the US Fish and Wildlife Service at the Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in Laurel, MD. Dr. Haseltine grew up in a small town in Maine and received a Bachelor of Science degree in wildlife science from the University of Maine. She earned an MS and PhD in zoology from Ohio State University, investigating the physiological mechanisms of eggshell thinning in wild birds.

Rick Weiss was until recently a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP), where he specialized in science policy and wrote for the online and print journal, Science Progress. Weiss came to CAP from The Washington Post, where he was a science and medical reporter for 15 years. He has earned degrees in both biology and journalism and has written articles for The New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Science, and Discover. Weiss has won journalism awards from the National Association of Science Writers, AAAS, and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, among others.


Contact: Tim Beardsley
202-628-1500 x226
American Institute of Biological Sciences

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