Nav: Home

Academies announce winners of 2016 Communication Awards

September 08, 2016

Date: Sept. 8, 2016 >WASHINGTON -- The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine announced today the recipients of the 2016 Communication Awards. Supported by the W.M. Keck Foundation since 2003 as part of the Keck Futures Initiative, these prestigious awards -- each of which includes a $20,000 prize -- recognize excellence in reporting and communicating science, engineering, and medicine to the general public. The winners will be honored during a ceremony on Oct. 26 in Washington, D.C.

"We received a record number of entries this year, and selecting the winners among so many outstanding nominees was challenging," said May Berenbaum, NAS member and chair of the awards selection committee, and professor and head of entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. "The winning entries represent science communication at its finest and exemplify the ability of science writers to engage, inform, and inspire the public."

Selected from 374 entries for works published or aired in 2015, the recipients of this year's awards are:


Deborah Cramer for The Narrow Edge: A Tiny Bird, an Ancient Crab, and an Epic Journey (Yale University Press)

"A beautifully written natural history of an imperiled bird that embeds evolutionary biology and systematics, marine ecology, physiology, natural history, paleontology, cultural history, and immunology in an absorbing, personal narrative"


NPR's Christopher Joyce and Alison Richards, with Bill McQuay of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, for the seven-part series "Close Listening: Decoding Nature Through Sound"

"A powerful showcase for radio and for studying sound to understand nature"


David Ferry and Mother Jones for "The Fever: How the Government Put Tens of Thousands of People at Risk of a Deadly Disease"
"A compelling account of a medical mystery and social injustice"


ProPublica's Abrahm Lustgarten, Naveena Sadasivam, Al Shaw, and David Sleight for the six-part series "Killing the Colorado"

"An outstanding interactive review of how decades of avarice, ignorance, and indifference led to an environmental disaster"


Robert Lee Hotz and the Wall Street Journal in the online category for the six-part series "Demographic Destiny"

The National Academies Keck Futures Initiative was created in 2003 to encourage interdisciplinary research and is funded by a 15-year, $40 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation. Nominations for next year's Communication Awards will be accepted in early 2017 for work published or broadcast in 2016. For more information on the Futures Initiative and the Communication Awards, please visit For more information about the W.M. Keck Foundation, please visit

The awards ceremony, which is free and open to the public, will take place on Oct. 26 at the National Academy of Sciences building in Washington, D.C. To register to attend, please click here by Oct. 14; e-mail questions to
The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. The Academies operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln.


William J. Skane, Executive Director
Molly Galvin, Senior Media Officer
Office of News and Public Information
202-334-2138; e-mail
Twitter: @theNASEM
RSS feed:

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine

Related Engineering Articles:

Engineering a new cancer detection tool
E. coli may have potentially harmful effects but scientists in Australia have discovered this bacterium produces a toxin which binds to an unusual sugar that is part of carbohydrate structures present on cells not usually produced by healthy cells.
Engineering heart valves for the many
The Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and the University of Zurich announced today a cross-institutional team effort to generate a functional heart valve replacement with the capacity for repair, regeneration, and growth.
Geosciences-inspired engineering
The Mackenzie Dike Swarm and the roughly 120 other known giant dike swarms located across the planet may also provide useful information about efficient extraction of oil and natural gas in today's modern world.
Engineering success
Academically strong, low-income would-be engineers get the boost they need to complete their undergraduate degrees.
HKU Engineering Professor Ron Hui named a Fellow by the UK Royal Academy of Engineering
Professor Ron Hui, Chair Professor of Power Electronics and Philip Wong Wilson Wong Professor of Electrical Engineering at the University of Hong Kong, has been named a Fellow by the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK, one of the most prestigious national academies.
Engineering a better biofuel
The often-maligned E. coli bacteria has powerhouse potential: in the lab, it has the ability to crank out fuels, pharmaceuticals and other useful products at a rapid rate.
Pascali honored for contributions to engineering education
Raresh Pascali, instructional associate professor in the Mechanical Engineering Technology Program at the University of Houston, has been named the 2016 recipient of the Ross Kastor Educator Award.
Scaling up tissue engineering
A team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering at Harvard University and the Harvard John A.
Engineering material magic
University of Utah engineers have discovered a new kind of 2-D semiconducting material for electronics that opens the door for much speedier computers and smartphones that also consume a lot less power.
Engineering academic elected a Fellow of the IEEE
A University of Bristol academic has been elected a Fellow of the world's largest and most prestigious professional association for the advancement of technology.

Related Engineering Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Do animals grieve? Do they have language or consciousness? For a long time, scientists resisted the urge to look for human qualities in animals. This hour, TED speakers explore how that is changing. Guests include biological anthropologist Barbara King, dolphin researcher Denise Herzing, primatologist Frans de Waal, and ecologist Carl Safina.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#SB2 2019 Science Birthday Minisode: Mary Golda Ross
Our second annual Science Birthday is here, and this year we celebrate the wonderful Mary Golda Ross, born 9 August 1908. She died in 2008 at age 99, but left a lasting mark on the science of rocketry and space exploration as an early woman in engineering, and one of the first Native Americans in engineering. Join Rachelle and Bethany for this very special birthday minisode celebrating Mary and her achievements. Thanks to our Patreons who make this show possible! Read more about Mary G. Ross: Interview with Mary Ross on Lash Publications International, by Laurel Sheppard Meet Mary Golda...