Vaidyanathan wins Clark/Payne Award

The Evert Clark Fund

National Press Foundation
1211 Connecticut Avenue N.W. Suite 310
Washington, D.C. 20045

Contact: John Carey
(703) 241-2674

August 31, 2012


The winner of the 2012 Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award, an annual prize for young science journalists, is Gayathri Vaidyanathan.

Vaidyanathan received the award and its $1,000 prize for two stories in Nature, “The Wheat Stalker” and “The Cultured Chimpanzees;” one story in Greenwire,“Study ignites fresh concerns about drilling emissions;” and a story in Energywire, “Could risk analysis prevent future deepwater disasters?”

The panel of judges cited Vaidyanathan for sophisticated writing, enterprising on-scene reporting, and her ability to tackle a wide range of topics, from agriculture in Africa to the risks of oil and gas drilling.

The judges also awarded an Honorable Mention to Chris Sweeney for a cover story, “Coral Capers,” in the Broward New Times. Sweeney used old-fashioned shoe-leather reporting and vivid characters to weave a compelling narrative about the illegal coral trade.

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 Saturday, October 27, during the annual meeting of the National Association of Science Writers and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. This year’s meeting will be held in Raleigh, NC.

Judges for the 2012 award were Susan Milius, life sciences writer at Science News; Dr. Gary Ellis of the Congressional Research Service; David Lindley, author of Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science and other books about physics; Steve Wildstrom, formerly BusinesssWeek's Technology & You columnist and co-founder of; and Elizabeth Pennisi, staff writer for Science.

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 23nd 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 the Evert Clark website (now in the process of being revised).

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