1999 Science in Society Awards

Presented Feburary 17, 2000, at the NASW reception in Washington, D.C.

Magazine

Gary Taubes

“The (Political) Science of Salt“

Science

Through extensive reporting and scrutiny of the history of salt research and its conflicting findings, Taubes took the measure of this popular seasoning in the American diet. Especially noteworthy was the level of critical examination, including interviews with some 80 researchers, clinicians and administrators around the world. The article was published on August 14, 1998.

Science, Discover, the Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, GQ, and a host of other publications. He has won numerous awards for his reporting including the National Association of Science Writers Science in Society Journalism Award in both 1996 and 1999. His most recent book, Bad Science, The Short Life and Weird Times of Cold Fusion (Random House, 1993), was a New York Times Notable Book and a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Awards.

Newspaper

John Sirica, Charles Zehren, Jordan Rau, Lauren Terrazzano, and John Paraskevas

“Science Under Siege”

Newsday

The Newsday team was honored for its ambitious series, “Science Under Siege.” Over a six-month period in 1998, the newspaper covered the struggles of Brookhaven National Laboratory and its surrounding community, in light of environmental contamination from the presigious lab’s research activities.

After a radioactive leak was detected in a nuclear research reactor and the U.S. Department of Energy fired the contractor that had operated the lab for 49 years, Newsday opened a bureau inside the facility. In great depth, the team of staff reporters examined the lab’s operations, its releationship with neighbors on Long Island, and the extent, cause and health implications of chemical and radioactive leaks. In a compelling and highly readable fashion, the reporters made a complicated issue accessible and understandable while providing valuable insights.

Broadcast

Dan Falk

“Visions of the Apocalypse”

Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Falk, a freelancer, was recognized by NASW for his story “Visions of the Apocalype,” which was aired by the Canadian Broadcast Corp. The hourlong program explores apocalyptic views throughout history and examines the relationship of science to current apocalyptic thinking spurred by the approaching new millennium. Judges praised the story for its throughtful, innovative and provacative handling of a timely subject. “Vision of the Apocalypse” aired on Dec. 30, 1998.

Dan Falk is a Toronto-based freelance writer and broadcaster specializing in science stories. Falk has a particular interest in astronomy and cosmology, as well as the history and philosophy of science. He has covered numerous science stories for Canadian newspapers such as the Globe and Mail and the National Post. Falk is a regular contributor to the CBC Radio programs “Ideas” and “Quirks and Quarks.” His other freelance credits include New Scientist, Sky and Telescope, The Boston Globe, The Independent (U.K.), United Press International, and Space.com.

1999 Science in Society Journalism Awards committee

AWARD CHAIRS

  • Joel Shurkin, freelancer and bureau chief, Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions
  • Karen Watson, senior science producer, Discovery Channel Online

MEMBERS

  • Josh Fischman, U.S. News & World Report
  • Laura Garwin, Nature
  • David Kestenbaum, National Public Radio
  • Usha Lee McFarling, Knight-Ridder national bureau
  • Elezabeth Pennisi, Science
  • Ivars Peterson, Science News