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 AAAS Science Journalism Awards are sponsored by Johnson & Johnson Pharmaceutical Research & Development, L.L.C. The winners will receive $3,000 and a plaque at the 2008 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston in February.
Informed reporting is essential if the public is to remain engaged with the crucial science issues of the day, said Alan I. Leshner, the AAAS Chief Executive Officer and Executive Publisher of the journal Science. The awards this year honor truly excellent work, both in national media and in some enterprising local outlets.
The list of winners:
Large Newspaper Circulation of 100,000 or more
Kenneth Weiss and Usha Lee McFarling
Los Angeles Times
July 30, 2006 Aug. 3, 2006
The series described how industrial society has been overdosing the oceans with nutrients that have promoted the growth of harmful algae and bacteria. Plastic wastes have created a plague of floating detritus with widespread impact on sea life. The series also discussed how carbon dioxide is entering the oceans at a rate of nearly 1 million tons an hour, raising the acidity of seawater and threatening entire species. Natalie Angier, a Pulitzer Prize- winning science writer for The New York Times, said that the series gives specificity and geography, a sense of place, to a part of the world we terrestrial species too often consider amorphous and unknowable. She said the series shows the sort of passionate rigor we rarely see in newspapers these days. Frank Roylance of the Baltimore Sun, called it a mos
|Contact: Earl Lane|
American Association for the Advancement of Science