(PHILADELPHIA) The winner of the 2008 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award is Terry McDermott, a Los Angeles Times staff writer. McDermotts winning entry, a four-part investigative study of research on memory, is titled Chasing Memory: One Mans Epic Quest for Understanding. For his work, he will receive a certificate of award and a cash prize of $5,000.
For the first time, the judges also awarded an honorable mentionto Chip Rowe, senior editor at Playboy magazine, for his articles on male sexuality.
The judges praised winner McDermotts exhaustive reporting and commended him for bringing to light a scientific problemhow memory is storedthat has defied explanation for decades.
Judges commented that the award-winning entry captured what it is like to work in a research laboratory and brought the scientific process to life. They also applauded the Los Angeles Times for devoting significant space to the coverage of basic biomedical research.
McDermott has been a reporter at eight newspapers for 28 years, the last 10 at the Los Angeles Times, where he is a national reporter based in Los Angeles. In his various newspaper jobs, he has covered county zoning boards, state legislatures, and the culture of the Los Angeles Police Department. He has specialized in long-term projects, immersing himself in assignments for months or even years. He has written on a range of subjects, from the 9/11 hijackers to the search for a rare blood molecule.
McDermott is a native of the Midwest. He holds a graduate degree in urban studies and has worked as a carpenter, a political campaign manager, and an interpreter of satellite reconnaissance imagery in the U.S. Air Force. His first book, Perfect Soldiers The Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It, was published in 2005. His second, 101 Theory Drive: A Scientists Pursuit of the Memory Machine in the Brain, is due next year.
McDermotts articles can be viewed on the Los Ange
|Contact: Abbey J. Porter|
The Wistar Institute