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Winners of the 2009 AAAS Kavli science journalism awards
Date:11/10/2009

ortant to scientific thinking." Winning the award, he said, convinces him that "you really can pull people in with a good story and help them develop the tools to think critically."

Natalie Angier, a New York Times science writer who was one of the judges for the radio category, said that many scientists "wish, above all, that the public had a better understanding of probability, and this piece brilliantly rises to the challenge of making it so."

Amie Thompson of the Great Falls Tribune in Montana won in the small newspaper category for a three-part series on how a family in Turner, Mont., is coping with a very rare genetic disorder that strikes in midlife with symptoms of Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Thompson told the story of how a dedicated researcher uncovered the rare disease but, she said, "what made the story come to life for me was listening to how the disease has affected each family member." Several young family members now know that they are destined to come down with the disease. "The family clings to hope that researchers will find a cure before the next generation is attacked," Thompson said.

Robert Lee Hotz of The Wall Street Journal, one of the judges for print entries, said Thompson "admirably blends human interest and science in a heart-breaking saga of life, death and DNA."

Carl Zimmer won in the large newspaper category for a trio of articles he wrote for The New York Times on aspects of genetics and evolution. "I sometimes feel a little embarrassed that I like to write articles about the kinds of basic questions my kids ask me," Zimmer said. "For the three stories I submitted, the questions were, 'What's a virus?' 'What's a gene?' and 'Why do fireflies flash?' I had a marvelous time talking with scientists about the complex answers to those simple questions, and now, thanks to this award, I don't have to feel at all embarrassed." Zimmer previously won in the online
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Contact: Earl Lane
elane@aaas.org
202-326-6431
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Source:Eurekalert

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