2004 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award Winners Announced

Apr 19, 2004, 01:00 ET from The Wistar Institute

    PHILADELPHIA, April 19 /PRNewswire/ -- The joint winners of the 2004
 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award are Sue Goetinck Ambrose, a science
 writer for The Dallas Morning News, and W. Wayt Gibbs, senior writer for
 Scientific American.  The shared award and cash prize of $5,000 will be
 presented to the two journalists at a ceremony in Philadelphia on June 4.
     The judges chose to honor the two journalists for their coverage of
 epigenetics, an emerging and still mysterious field of genetic research.  The
 judges were particularly impressed that on the 50th anniversary of the
 discovery of the structure of DNA, the writers looked to the future of
 genetics rather than dwelling on the historical importance of the earlier
     The award is given jointly because the judges wanted to acknowledge the
 parallel achievement of the writers for the clear and informative presentation
 of epigenetics to a general audience by Ambrose and the sophisticated
 treatment of the same topic by Gibbs for an audience interested in science.
     The six members of the judges panel are: Deborah Blum (co-chair),
 Professor of Journalism, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and 1992 Pulitzer
 Prize winner; Joe Palca (co-chair), Senior Science Correspondent, National
 Public Radio; Robert Bazell, Chief Science Correspondent, NBC News; Carol
 Ezzell Webb, Freelance Journalist and Contributing Editor for Scientific
 American; Usha Lee McFarling, Science Writer, Los Angeles Times; and Charles
 Petit, Senior Writer, U.S. News & World Report.
     The selection of the 2004 winners of the Wistar Institute Science
 Journalism Award inaugurates this major new award in journalism that aims to
 honor annually the most insightful and enterprising reporting on the basic
 biomedical sciences in print or broadcast journalism during the award year.
     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 2005 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,
 2004.  The deadline for submissions is February 28, 2005.
     For more information about the award, please visit:
     The 2004 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award will be presented on
 June 4 in Philadelphia in conjunction with a seminar for members of the
 science media.  The award presentation will take place at a luncheon event
 during the day-long seminar.  The seminar will offer a series of focused
 briefings on recent shifts in scientific thinking concerning vaccines, while
 also placing that information into a social, political, and economic context.
 The presenters are leading vaccine researchers and public health officials who
 will explore the science of vaccines and some of the vital framing issues
 attending their distribution and use.
     For more information about the media seminar and award ceremony planned
 for June 4 in Philadelphia, please visit:
     The Wistar Institute is an independent nonprofit biomedical research
 institution dedicated to discovering the causes and cures for major diseases,
 including cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, and infectious
 diseases.  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 - one of only eight focused on basic research.  Discoveries at Wistar
 have led to the development of vaccines for such diseases as rabies and
 rubella, the identification of genes associated with breast, lung, and
 prostate cancer, and the development of monoclonal antibodies and other
 significant research technologies and tools.
     News releases from The Wistar Institute are available to reporters by
 direct e-mail or fax upon request.  They are also posted electronically to
 Wistar's home page (http://www.wistar.upenn.edu), to EurekAlert!
 (http://www.eurekalert.org), an Internet resource sponsored by the American
 Association for the Advancement of Science, and to the public interest
 newswire AScribe (http://www.ascribe.org).

SOURCE The Wistar Institute