The judges chose to honor the two journalists for their coverage of epigenetics, an emerging and still mysterious field of genetic research. The judges were particularly impressed that on the 50th anniversary of the discovery of the structure of DNA, the writers looked to the future of genetics rather than dwelling on the historical importance of the earlier research.
The award is given jointly because the judges wanted to acknowledge the parallel achievement of the writers for the clear and informative presentation of epigenetics to a general audience by Ambrose and the sophisticated treatment of the same topic by Gibbs for an audience interested in science.
The six members of the judges panel are: Deborah Blum (co-chair), Professor of Journalism, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and 1992 Pulitzer Prize winner; Joe Palca (co-chair), Senior Science Correspondent, National Public Radio; Robert Bazell, Chief Science Correspondent, NBC News; Carol Ezzell Webb, Freelance Journalist and Contributing Editor for Scientific American; Usha Lee McFarling, Science Writer, Los Angeles Times; and Charles Petit, Senior Writer, U.S. News & World Report.
The selection of the 2004 winners of the Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award inaugurates this major new award in journalism that aims to honor annually the most insightful and enterprising reporting on the basic biomedical sciences in print or broadcast journalism during the award year.
The award acknowledges biomedical research as a key force for change in the world today, with important economic and social implications for the future. Intelligent, perceptive journalism written in broadly accessible language plays a primary role in communicating progress in biomedicine to the public, which both supports and is the beneficiary of basic biomedical research. For these reasons, journalistic excellence in this area is of the highest importance and deserves to be honored.
Science journalists working in all media are invited to submit their work for consideration for the 2005 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award. Up to five stories or broadcast reports from an individual journalist or team of journalists may be submitted as an entry. These may be selections from a series or a collection of stories representative of the entrant's coverage of the basic biomedical sciences. Books are not eligible. The work must have been published or broadcast in English between January 1 and December 31, 2004. The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2005.
For more information about the award, please visit: http://www.wistar.upenn.edu/news_info/award.html
The 2004 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award will be presented on June 4 in Philadelphia in conjunction with a seminar for members of the science media. The award presentation will take place at a luncheon event during the day-long seminar. The seminar will offer a series of focused briefings on recent shifts in scientific thinking concerning vaccines, while also placing that information into a social, political, and economic context. The presenters are leading vaccine researchers and public health officials who will explore the science of vaccines and some of the vital framing issues attending their distribution and use.
For more information about the media seminar and award ceremony planned for June 4 in Philadelphia, please visit: http://www.wistar.upenn.edu/news_info/awardseminar.html
The Wistar Institute is an independent nonprofit biomedical research institution dedicated to discovering the causes and cures for major diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases. Founded in 1892 as the first institution of its kind in the nation, The Wistar Institute today is a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center – one of only eight focused on basic research. Discoveries at Wistar have led to the development of vaccines for such diseases as rabies and rubella, the identification of genes associated with breast, lung, and prostate cancer, and the development of monoclonal antibodies and other significant research technologies and tools.
News releases from The Wistar Institute are available to reporters by direct e-mail or fax upon request. They are also posted electronically to Wistar's home page (http://www.wistar.upenn.edu), to EurekAlert! (http://www.eurekalert.org), an Internet resource sponsored by the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and to the public interest newswire AScribe (http://www.ascribe.org).
AAAS and EurekAlert! are not responsible for the accuracy of news releases posted to EurekAlert! by contributing institutions or for the use of any information through the EurekAlert! system.