The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has been handing out journalism awards since 1945. But this year, thanks to the doubling of an endowment from The Kavli Foundation, two big changes are in evidence.
For the first time, international journalists were allowed to submit their work for prize consideration. A second tier was also added to all eight awards categories, in the form of a a Silver award ($3,500 prize) to go along with the Gold Award ($5,000).
A good example of what all this wrought is 2015’s Silver award winner in the Print – Large Newspaper category. Behind Andrea McDaniels’ series for The Baltimore Sun about the toll on residents living in violent neighborhoods, there is a three-part series by Le Monde’s Nathaniel Herzberg:
Herzberg told his readers about the decline of the stethoscope as the undisputed symbol of the working physician; the efforts of scientists since the time of the ancient Greeks to understand the migration and metamorphoses of the European eel that crosses the Atlantic twice during its life cycle; and the diminished allure of mice as experimental subjects for the study of human diseases. Tim Radford, former science editor of The Guardian, called the articles “a triptych of elegant studies in essay form.” Regarding the piece on the stethoscope, he noted: “Who knew how much history lay in that iconic length of tubing?”
Other 2015 winners include PBS NewsHour’s Miles O’Brien, The New York Times, the BBC and Minnesota Public Radio. The awards will be presented in Washington D.C. in February.