Celebrating Science Journalists Around the World

by The Kavli Foundation

AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards 2021

The Author

The Kavli Foundation

Thirty-five journalists from around the world were awarded with the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award this year. Entries came from 47 countries with first-time winners from India and Spain.

Science news topics ranged with stories and films on the environment, ethics, diversity, and the global pandemic. Journalists from PBS reported on the important role Bison play in preserving the tall grass prairie, specifically the largest remaining protected tall grass area in the world located in Northeast Oklahoma. A reporter with Nature wrote about ethical questions of facial-recognition research, and from NOVA a film called Human Nature dives into the ethical considerations of the gene-editing tool CRISPR.

For science reporting in large and small news outlets came first-time winners from the countries of Spain and India. Journalists reporting for Spain’s El Pais newspaper wrote about the spread of the coronavirus through the air and a reporter with India’s FiftyTwo publication wrote about the continuous discoveries by evolutionary ecologists of new species in the Western Ghats region.

This year’s awards also recognized storytelling efforts on diversity in science. The CBC Radio program Quirks & Quarks looked at the history and future of Black people in science and the documentary Picture a Scientist chronicles the researchers who are writing a new chapter for women scientists.

Examples of more award-winning science journalism can be found below and on the AAAS Kavli Science Journalism website.

The AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards are administered annually by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). The awards recognize distinguished science reporting for a general audience globally in eight categories (with a gold and silver award), ranging from print newspaper and magazines to videos and children’s science news.

Science Reporting – Large Outlet

Gold Award: Mariano Zafra and Javier Salas, El País (Spain):
“A room, a bar and a classroom: how the coronavirus is spread through the air”

Science Reporting – Small Outlet

Gold Award: Aathira Perinchery, FiftyTwo (India):

Science Reporting – In-Depth (More than 5,000 words)

Gold Award: Noah Gallagher Shannon, New York Times Magazine:
“What’s Going on Inside the Fearsome Thunderstorms of Córdoba Province?”


Gold Award: Megan Molteni, Wired:
“The 60-Year-Old Scientific Screwup That Helped Covid Kill”

VIDEO Spot News/Feature Reporting (20 minutes or less)

Gold Award: Michael Werner, Joe Hanson, Rachel Raney and Brandon Arolfo, PBS:
“How Bison Are Saving America’s Lost Prairie”
“Inside the Fight to Save an Ancient Forest (and the Secrets it Holds)”

VIDEO In-Depth Reporting (more than 20 minutes)

Gold Award: Sharon Shattuck, Ian Cheney, Manette Pottle and Amy Brand, A NOVA Production by Uprising LLC for GBH Boston:
“Picture a Scientist”


Gold Award: Amanda Buckiewicz and Nicole Mortillaro, CBC/Radio-Canada:
“Quirks & Quarks: Black in Science special”

Children’s Science News

Gold Award: Bridgett Henwood, Estelle Caswell, Kimberly Mas and Elizabeth Scheltens, Vox:
“Why bird nests aren't covered in poop”
“The secret history of dirt”
“How to be a Cloud Detective”

See all this year's winners.

Written by The Kavli Foundation
Science Journalism


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