The National Science Board (NSB) has selected author Dava Sobel to receive its 2001 individual Public Service Award. The NSB honored Sobel for fostering awareness of science and technology among broad segments of the general public. Her latest work, Galileo's Daughter, chronicles the scientist's life through letters from his daughter and is currently the best selling science book in the nation.
"Dava Sobel's vivid and engaging writing about discovery and discoverers has brought major events in the history of science to life for a wide audience," says Eamon Kelly, NSB Chairman. "Her work enhances the public's understanding of the transforming role of science in our lives."
Sobel is an award-winning writer and former New York Times science reporter. Her articles on scientific research and the history of science have been published in Audubon, Discover, Life, The New Yorker, and Harvard Magazine. She received wide acclaim for her previous best seller, Longitude, published in 1995. The story was made into a PBS television documentary-"Lost at Sea: the Search for Longitude"--that aired in 1998 and a made-for-television miniseries on A&E. Galileo's Daughter is now in development for a NOVA documentary as well as a dramatic film.
The National Science Board is the governing body of the National Science Foundation and policy advisor to the President and Congress. The NSB annually recognizes an individual and a group for their achievements in increasing the public's understanding of scientific discovery and innovation, as well as inspiring the next generation of scientists and engineers. The individual Public Service Award has been bestowed on Jane Goodall, Stephen J. Gould, and Phillip and Phylis Morrison. Sobel is the fourth recipient.
"She is a talented and graceful writer who engages her readers to learn more about the way the world works," says Michael Ambrosino, chair of the advisory committee to the NSB Public Service Awards. "Sobel's ability to humanize science and empower her audience to continue asking questions deserves admiration and praise."
Sobel has lectured at institutes worldwide, such as the Folger Shakespeare Library, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Royal Geographical Society. She is a graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton and a Fellow of the American Geographical Society.
The award will be presented to Sobel at a ceremony on May 23 at the Department of State in Washington DC. The group winner of the NSB Public Service Award will be announced in early May.