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AIBS 2006 Media Awards

Contact: Jennifer Williams
Peer Review / External Relations Coordinator

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The winners of the 2006 AIBS Media Awards are:

Print Journalism

Margaret Wertheim, for "Gen-X on Ice" and "Godzilla Ice," which appeared in the LA Weekly on February 4 and March 11, 2005. She reported on these stories as a National Science Foundation visiting journalist to Antarctica in 2004-2005. The judges noted that "Wertheim's story follows a group of young scientists, most of them women, in the Antarctic as they grapple with the research challenges of operating in an alien environment. The story employs vivid language to recreate her experience and the striking setting at the same time that it deals with scientific issues such as microbial ecology and the effects of extreme cold on the human body. Her account is notable for helping to explain the process of science and making it accessible to a wide audience."

Margaret Wertheim is an internationally noted science writer and commentator. She is the author of Pythagoras' Trousers, a history of the relationship between physics and religion, and The Pearly Gates of Cyberspace: A History of Space from Dante to the Internet. She writes the "Quark Soup" column for the LA Weekly and is a contributor to the New York Times Science Section and the Los Angeles Times Op-Ed page. In her native Australia, she wrote and produced television science documentaries, including the award-winning series "Catalyst," aimed at teenage girls. In 2003, Wertheim founded the Institute For Figuring, an organization that presents lectures and exhibitions about the poetic dimensions of science and mathematics. (www.theiff.org) She is currently working on a book about the role of imagination in theoretical physics.

Broadcast Journalism

Daniel Grossman, for "Noah's Raft: Saving Madagascar's Wildlife Without the Ark," which was broadcast on Radio Netherlands on August 29, 2005. The judges said, " 'Noah's Raft' tells an important story. It takes listeners to a biologically unique environment and sheds light on the difficult choices that Madagascar faces in conserving its species, where human needs and the natural world intersect. Local voices were used to help tell the story, and audio production was superb."

Daniel Grossman has been a print journalist and radio producer for 19 years. He holds a Ph.D. in political science and a B.S. in physics, both from MIT. He was awarded a Ted Scripps Fellowship in Environmental Journalism at the University of Colorado in Boulder, where he studied climate science. He has reported from all seven continents, including from within 1,000 miles of both the south and north poles. He has produced radio stories and documentaries on science and the environment for National Public Radio's show on the environment Living on Earth; National Public Radio's news magazine Weekend Edition; Public Radio International's international affairs show, The World; the Australian Broadcasting Corporation; Germany's Deutsche Welle radio; the BBC; the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation; the documentary show Soundprint, and Radio Netherlands. He is coauthor of A Scientist's Guide to Talking with the Media: Practical Advice from the Union of Concerned Scientists (Rutgers University Press, 2006). He is a two-time winner of the AIBS Media Award; he also won in 2004 for "The Penguin Barometer," a story on global warming.

An honorable mention for print journalism was awarded to MICHAEL BALTER, for "Are Humans Still Evolving?" which appeared in Science on July 8, 2005. The judges called it "a thorough and thought-provoking summary of recent research in a field of great societal importance, looking at the future of humans as evolving biological organisms."

The AIBS Media Awards, given by the American Institute of Biological Sciences, were established in 1995 to recognize outstanding reporting on biology to a general audience. The award is limited to non-technical journalism, including print and broadcast media. The judges for this year's competition were:

ALEXANDRA WITZE
Alexandra Witze is a senior news and features editor at Nature magazine in Washington, D.C. She covered the physical sciences for The Dallas Morning News between 1996 and 2005, and has also worked as an editor at Earth magazine in Waukesha, WI.

JOHN TRAVIS
John Travis is the Deputy News Editor responsible for basic biology coverage at the journal Science. He formerly was the Boston correspondent for Science and covered biology for the weekly magazine Science News.

THOMAS WOOD
Thomas Wood is Associate Professor of Integrative Studies in New Century College at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. He holds a B.S. from the University of California, Davis, an M.S. from Louisiana State University, and a Ph.D. in Environmental Science and Public Policy from George Mason University.

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