Science in Society Awards

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NASW's Science in Society Journalism Awards honor and encourage outstanding investigative and interpretive reporting about the sciences and their impact for good and ill. Official rules and entry forms are available in mid-November each year for work published during that year. Deadline for submissions is Feb. 1.

Winning entries explore research into manipulating human cells to give them capabilities they did not have before; the ethics and practicalities of administering drugs to prevent painful memories from forming in people who have experienced a trauma; the health and environmental effects of nanotechnology; and the ethical, legal, and social dilemmas raised by new life technologies.

The frontiers of human reproduction, the search for an AIDS vaccine, evolution, the challenge of obesity, engineering feats, the perils of e-junk, and a personal search for one reporter’s genetic roots are the subjects of this year’s best reporting on how science impacts society, as reflected in the 2002 Science in Society awards.

Stories about the seriously flawed national flu vaccine program, the historic decoding of the human genome, the struggle to preserve the New England fish population, the inadequate science behind the country’s dietary fat dictates, troubling questions about depleted uranium lingering in former war zones, and the tantalizing potential of methane hydrates all earned top honors for journalists in the 2001 Science in Society Journalism Award.

Stories about a contentious set of 9,000-year-old human bones found in the Pacific Northwest, dauntless AIDS-prevention efforts targeting women in Africa, the complex scientific challenge of global warming, academic integrity in peril from commercially sponsored research, and the fight over genetically engineered food all earned top honors for journalists in the 2000 Science in Society Journalism Awards.

Winners include entries on the history of salt research and its conflicting findings, the struggles of Brookhaven National Laboratory and its surrounding community in light of environmental contamination from the prestigious lab’s research activities, and the relationship of science to current apocalyptic thinking spurred by the approaching new millennium.