Jia-Rui Chong wins Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award

The winner of the 2007 Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award, an annual prize for young science journalists, is Jia-Rui Chong. A staff writer at The Los Angeles Times, Chong received the award and its $1000 prize for four stories: "Badminton World Isn't Smiling for These Birdies;" "Alaska villagers living in bird flu's flight path;" "Book with a buried treasure;" and "First warmer, then sicker."

The panel of judges cited Chong for "getting out of the office to do real reporting in the field, finding unique ways of covering well-trodden topics." The judges praised her effort, choice of stories, and clear, evocative writing.

The judges also awarded an Honorable Mention to Mary Carmichael for a story in the Boston Globe magazine, "Shaken Baby Syndrome," and two cover stories in Newsweek, "Exercise and the Brain," and "The New War on Pain." The judges found the stories to be well-crafted, compelling reads. They especially praised the story on shaken baby syndrome for chronicling the scientific debate on very difficult issue.

The award will be presented by the Evert Clark Fund and the National Association of Science Writers, in conjunction with the National Press Foundation. The ceremony will take place on October 21, during the meeting of the National Association of Science Writers/Council for the Advancement of Science Writing in Spokane, Wash.

Judges for the 2005-6 award were Liz Pennisi from Science; Dr. Rob Flieschmann from The Institute for Genomic Research (now the J. Craig Venter Institute); Nell Boyce from National Public Radio; Dr. Timothy Beardsley, editor-in-chief of BioScience; and Chris Mooney, author of The Republican War on Science and Storm World.

The Clark/Payne Award encourages young science writers by recognizing outstanding reporting in all fields of science. It is given each year in memory of journalists Ev Clark and Seth Payne, who offered friendship and advice to a generation of young reporters. This is the 18th year of the award.

All entrants must be age 30 or younger. The deadline for submissions is now the end of June each year. For more information, contact the Evert Clark Award Fund or visit the web site.