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AIBS 2007 Media Awards

Contact: Jennifer Williams
Peer Review / External Relations Coordinator

202-628-1500 x 209

5 April 2007. 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 winners of the 2007 AIBS Media Awards are:

Print Journalism

Kenneth Weiss and Usha Lee McFarling, the 2007 Pulitzer Prize winners for Explanatory Reporting, will receive the Print Media Award for their series "Altered Oceans" which appeared in the Los Angeles Times July 30 — August 3, 2006. They traveled great distances to capture the story of the oceans' transformation in the light of human activity. The series frighteningly portrays the decline of fish and mammal populations and the proliferation of more primitive species, such as toxic algae, jellyfish, and bacteria. Weiss has been reporting on the oceans for five years for the Los Angeles Times. McFarling, who has reported on topics related to earth science and the space program, has recently expanded her portfolio to include the effects of global climate change, with a focus on the Arctic.

Broadcast Journalism

David Baron

David Baron will receive the Broadcast Media Award for "Bioko's Endangered Monkeys" originally aired 5 January 2006 on PRI's series The World. Baron traveled to Bioko Island, off Africa's western coast, to research how rare primate species are being driven further toward extinction by human consumption. He is an award-winning journalist whose broadcasts and books demonstrate his passion for science and his adventurous spirit. He spent much of his career at National Public Radio, where he reported on science, medicine, technology, and the environment for All Things Considered. He is now the global development editor for The World, a coproduction of the BBC World Service, PRI, and WGBH Boston.

An honorable mention for print journalism was awarded to Christie Aschwanden, for "Is It or Isn't It (Just Another Field Mouse)?" which appeared in High Country News on August 7, 2006.

The judges for this year's competition were:

Rick Borchelt

Rick Borchelt is communications director for the Pew-funded Genetics and Public Policy Center at The Johns Hopkins University. He also is Lecturer in science policy and politics in the Hopkins Advanced Academic Programs division. He was elected a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 2004, and is immediate past chair of AAAS Section Y (General Interest in Science and Engineering). He is an advisor to the NSF-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education (NISE) project, and a committee member for the National Academy of Engineering's study of public communication about engineering. An undergraduate biology major, he's done graduate work in both insect systematics and science communication.

John Carey

John Carey, senior correspondent in Business Week's Washington Bureau, has covered science, technology, medicine, health, energy, and the environment since joining the magazine in 1989. Prior to coming to Business Week, Mr. Carey spent a year as an editor of The Scientist, three years as a writer and editor for National & International Wildlife magazines, and six years at Newsweek, where he covered science, technology, and health. His stories have won awards from organizations such as the Deadline Club, the American Institute of Biological Sciences, the Oversees Press Club, and the Aviation and Space Writers Association. Mr. Carey has degrees in biochemistry (B.A., Yale University), marine biology (M.Sc., University College of North Wales), and forest ecology (M.F.S., Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies).

Laura Helmuth

Laura Helmuth is a senior editor for Smithsonian magazine. She joined the magazine in April 2004. She selects and edits most of the magazine's stories about science, nature, and technology. Before joining Smithsonian, she worked for Science magazine's news department for five years, first as a writer covering neuroscience and then as an editor for life sciences stories. She has written for National Wildlife, California Wild, Science News, and a travel guide to Eastern Europe. She has a Ph.D. in cognitive neuroscience from the University of California at Berkeley.

Joe Neel

Joe Neel is a deputy senior supervising editor and a correspondent on the Science Desk. Neel has been covering medicine and health since 1982. Before NPR, Neel was Washington bureau chief for Physician's Weekly, New York bureau chief for International Medical News Group and abstracts editor at Modern Medicine. His work has also appeared in Nature, The Lancet, The Boston Globe, and other books and publications. He won the Kaiser Family Foundation Media Fellowship for 2006-7. Neel graduated in 1979 from Washington University in St. Louis with bachelor's degrees in Biology and German Literature and Language. He also studied biology at the Universitüt Tübingen in Germany.

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