Call for Entries: The 2004 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award

December 11, 2003

Philadelphia, PA - The newly established Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award aims to honor the most insightful and enterprising reporting on the basic biomedical sciences in print, broadcast, or online journalism during the award year. Entries for the 2004 award must have appeared between January 1 and December 31, 2003, and the deadline for submitting entries is February 29, 2004. The winner will be selected by an independent committee of accomplished science and medical journalists and will receive a certificate and cash prize of $5,000 at an award ceremony at The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia on Friday, June 4, 2004.

The award-winning work may be direct reporting on a significant research advance, an exploration of the fundamental science underlying a major news story, the identification of an emerging trend in scientific thinking, or a thoughtful investigation of the research process. Journalism that expresses the same kind of skepticism encouraged by science itself will be given particular attention, as will coverage with the prescience to identify and illuminate the significance of research that may appear, at first glance, to be more limited in scope.

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.

Up to five stories 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 appeared in English in the United States between January 1 and December 31, 2003. Please provide seven copies of each entry. The deadline for submission is February 29, 2004.

Entries will be judged by an independent committee of accomplished science and medical journalists. Employees of The Wistar Institute will have no involvement in the judging process. The members of the 2004 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award judging committee are:

Deborah Blum (co-chair)
Professor of Journalism
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Winner, 1992 Pulitzer Prize

Joe Palca (co-chair)
Senior Science Correspondent
National Public Radio

Bob Bazell
Chief Science Correspondent
NBC News

Carol Ezzell
Freelance Journalist
(Former Writer and Editor, Scientific American)

Usha Lee McFarling
Science Writer
Los Angeles Times

Charles W. Petit
Senior Writer
U.S. News & World Report

A certificate and cash prize of $5,000 will be presented to the winner at an award ceremony at The Wistar Institute in Philadelphia on Friday, June 4, 2004. Travel expenses for the winner to attend the seminar and ceremony will be covered.

A day-long professional seminar for journalists exploring a news-making area of biomedicine and its impact on society will be offered in association with the award ceremony each year. The seminar associated with the presentation of the 2004 Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award will bring leading scientists and public health officials to The Wistar Institute to explore the science of vaccines and some of the political and social issues attending their distribution and use.

Submit entries to:
Wistar Institute Science Journalism Award
c/o Franklin Hoke
The Wistar Institute
3601 Spruce Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104-4268

For more information, contact:
Franklin Hoke
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.

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