Public Release: 

2006 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award winner announced

The Wistar Institute

PHILADELPHIA - The winner of the 2006 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award is freelance science writer Bijal Trivedi. She won for her article in the October 1 issue of New Scientist magazine titled "Slimming for Slackers," which explored a new area of science investigating the complex bacterial ecology of the gut and its implications for understanding metabolism and managing health, particularly the growing epidemic of obesity. The award and cash prize of $5,000 will be presented to Trivedi at a ceremony in Philadelphia on June 9.

The award committee judges praised Trivedi for her ability to intrigue the reader and her compellingly written presentation of the complex - and still mysterious - health effects of the bacterial communities that live inside us. In her storytelling, Trivedi elegantly balanced explanations of the science, scientific process, and clinical potential of an emerging research field, the judges said.

The six members of the 2006 judging committee were: Deborah Blum (co-chair), professor of journalism, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a 1992 Pulitzer Prize winner; Joe Palca (co-chair), senior science correspondent for National Public Radio; Sue Goetinck Ambrose, science writer for The Dallas Morning News (and a 2004 winner of the Wistar Award); Jon Palfreman, independent documentary film producer; Charles Petit, freelance journalist; and Nancy Shute, senior writer for U.S. News & World Report.


Established in 2004, the Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award has established itself as a major award in professional journalism. This year, entries were received from journalists reporting for major print and broadcast outlets across the country.

The Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award aims to honor annually the most insightful and enterprising reporting on the basic biomedical sciences in print or broadcast journalism. 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 2007 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, 2006. The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2007.

For more information about the award, please visit:

The Wistar Institute is an independent nonprofit biomedical research institution dedicated to discovering the causes of and cures for major diseases, including cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases, including AIDS and influenza. 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 focused on basic and translational research. Discoveries at Wistar have led to the creation of vaccines for such diseases as rabies, rubella, and rotavirus; significant insights into the mechanisms of skin, brain, breast, lung, and prostate cancers; and the development of monoclonal antibodies and other significant research technologies and tools. The Wistar Institute is on the web at:

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