Communicating Science: Conversations with Three 2010 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award Winners

The 2010 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards ceremony.
The 2010 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award Ceremony. Pictured: the journalists honored at the 2010 ceremony and speakers. (Courtesy: AAAS)

"THEIR WORK HAS DEEPENED our understanding of the natural world around us and of the mysteries within ourselves. They’ve surprised us, informed us, and sharpened our sense of wonder. They’ve helped protect us... And they’ve dispelled deliberate misinformation about critical events, such as the scope of the Gulf Oil Spill, unfolding in the news."

In February, during a ceremony in Washington, D.C., Robert Lee Hotz, The Wall Street Journal science columnist, offered these words of praise for the 2010 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award recipients. Now, three winners of this year's awards offer their insight into the craft of science writing. They also discuss the process of creating their winning work, the state of science journalism and ponder the similarities between journalism and science.

CLICK THE IMAGES BELOW for the conversations about science communication.

Sarah Holt

Sarah Holt, Winner, Television (Spot News/Feature Reporting)

Holt received her award for a NOVA scienceNow story on how researchers are uncovering the complex chemistry behind the way our brains store and retrieve memories. In a dialogue with The Kavli Foundation, Holt shares how the piece evolved, the way stories are developed for the PBS television series, and the challenges bringing science to television. CLICK HERE
Hillary Rosner

Hillary Rosner, Winner, Small Newspaper

A freelance reporter, Rosner won for a High Country News feature about the razorback sucker, an endangered fish in the Colorado River that once was abundant and now is dependent on continuing human intervention for its survival. Rosner discusses the key role scientists played in bringing the story to her attention, as well as the difficulties in writing and publishing articles about the environment. CLICK HERE

Steve Silberman

Steve Silberman, Winner, Magazine

In a feature for Wired magazine, Silberman told how an increasing number of medications are unable to beat dummy pills called placebos in head-to-head clinical testing, and examined the real power of the placebo on human health. Silberman discusses the genesis of the story, including the role scientists played to guide and define the piece. He also offers thoughts about the similarities between journalists and scientists. CLICK HERE

2010 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award host Robert Lee Hotz, science columnist, The Wall Street Journal. (Courtesy: AAAS)
Robert Lee Hotz, host, AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards. (Courtesy: AAAS)


The awards recognize outstanding reporting for a general audience and honor individuals (rather than institutions, publishers or employers) for their coverage of the sciences, engineering and mathematics.

Since their inception in 1945, the awards have gone to more than 300 individuals for their achievements in science journalism. The winning journalists have helped to foster the public's understanding and appreciation of science. Independent screening and judging committees select the winning journalists and their entries based on scientific accuracy, initiative, originality, clarity of interpretation and value in fostering a better understanding of science by the public. Committees composed of reporters and editors judge the entries. The decisions of the judging committees are final.

Awards are given for reporting in the following media: Print (Large Newspaper-Circulation of 100,000 or more; Small Newspaper-Circulation less than 100,000; Magazine), Television (Spot News/Feature Reporting - 20 minutes or less; In-Depth Reporting - more than 20 minutes; Radio; Online; and Children's News. The awards are presented at a special ceremony held during each year's AAAS Annual Meeting.

Original press release announcing the winners for 2010 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards, CLICK HERE

The 2010 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards ceremony.
The 2010 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Award Ceremony. (Courtesy: AAAS)


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