Probing environmental reports on the size of the Gulf oil spill, the possible risks of chemicals commonly found in drinking water, and the fate of an endangered fish in the Colorado River are among the winners of the 2010 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards.
The awards, administered by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) since their inception in 1945, go to professional journalists for distinguished reporting for a general audience. The Kavli Foundation, based in Oxnard, California, provided a generous endowment in 2009 that ensures the future of the awards program.
Independent panels of science journalists pick the winners, who will receive $3000 and a plaque at the 2011 AAAS Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., in February.
"It's an enormous honor to receive this award from the AAAS," said Charles Duhigg, who won the large-newspaper award for his "Toxic Waters" series in The New York Times. "The Times' investigation into the quality of American waters and the enforcement of environmental laws was only possible because scientists were so generous with their insights and expertise. To be recognized by the judges for 'getting it right' is enormously gratifying."
As part of his reporting, Duhigg reviewed hundreds of scientific papers and spoke with dozens of researchers. He filed more than 500 Freedom of Information Act requests, built his own database, and ran thousands of queries to search for patterns in the data.
Richard Harris, a science correspondent for NPR, won the radio award, along with editor Alison Richards, for a series that challenged the initial estimates on the size of the devastating Gulf oil spill.
"To get this story, I found several scientists who were willing to drop what they were doing and take up the challenge I presented them," Harris said. "With the able help of my editor, we quickly put this information out to the public. Though we initially me
|Contact: Earl Lane|
American Association for the Advancement of Science