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Winners named for the 2011 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards

"Death of a Mars Rover"
2 June 2011

Davis of MDTV Productions, the writer, producer, and director of the program, tells the story of the Mars Rovers, Spirit and Opportunity, and the desperate effort to save Spirit after the craft drove into a quicksand trap five miles from its landing site. When the rovers arrived at Mars in 2004, they were expected to travel only a few hundred yards and last 90 days. More than seven years later, Opportunity is still active but a final attempt to revive Spirit on 25 May 2011 was unsuccessful. "Along with its gripping storytelling," Sawyer said, "the production makes maximum use of real-life images from the surface of the Red Planet in seamless combination with animation and graphics to depict the lonely, cliff-hanging adventures of two robots under the skilled remote direction of an engaging team of handlers in a lab back on Earth." David Baron, health and science editor for PRI's "The World," said the program had "memorable charactershuman and otherwise. You can't help but care about this plucky piece of machinery." Davis, who won previously in the same category in 2004, said it was "flattering and reassuring to get a pat on the back" from the judges.


Gabriel Spitzer, with Michael De Bonis
WBEZ Chicago
"Clever Apes" (series)
26 July 2010
24 November 2010
24 May 2011

Spitzer and De Bonis won for several segments in the ongoing "Clever Apes" series on W

Contact: Earl Lane
American Association for the Advancement of Science

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