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AGU honors outstanding journalists

television shows, including tales of space missions to Mars and Pluto and remarkable coverage of polar research, such as "Live from Antarctica," the first interactive broadcast from the South Pole. Embracing social media as a means of reaching larger audiences, Haines-Stiles and Akuginow have made the new PBS series the rallying point for an online community, including an active Twitter feed and a Facebook page with tens of thousands of 'likes.'

In recommending Haines-Stiles and Akuginow for the award, the selection committee reported that it "found the breadth and depth of their work inspiring." One committee member lauded their "international reach and wide range of contributions on diverse topics in Earth and planetary sciences." The nominator who recommended them for the award praised them for engaging with working scientists "to learn the latest advances and to figure out the most exciting and important things for the public to know," and for using "the best scholarship on communications to craft ways to share real science effectively." As media has changed, the nominator added, "they stayed ahead, adding Twitter and Facebook to TV broadcasts and live presentations."

Haines-Stiles and Akuginow have also had a positive impact on the communication of Earth and space science to broad audiences by means beyond their filmmaking, both their nominators and the selection committee noted. They organized numerous events at museums and other public venues at which scientists communicated with general audiences about fields such as polar research and Mars exploration, increasing public understanding of the science while also fostering confidence, skill, and camaraderie among researchers acting as ambassadors for their fields.

The Robert C. Cowen Award is named for a former science editor of The Christian Science Monitor, who was its first winner, and is embodied in a presentation piece consisting of a glass globe on a pedestal.

The Walt

Contact: Peter Weiss
American Geophysical Union

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