Date:  Feb. 1, 2008

Contacts: Maureen O'Leary

Office of News and Public Information

202-334-2138; news

Kimberely Suda-Blake

National Academies Keck Futures Intiative

949-721-2270; e-mail <>

Call for Nominations for 2008 National Academies Communication Awards

New award categories added this year


WASHINGTON – On Feb. 4 the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine will begin accepting nominations for the 2008 National Academies Communication Awards for excellence in reporting and communicating science, engineering, and medicine to the public during 2007.  Four $20,000 prizes will be awarded in the following categories:


              -- Book author

              -- Newspaper or magazine journalist

              -- Online journalist

              -- TV/radio or film producer or reporter


The new “Online” category recognizes the rapid growth in online media dedicated to science coverage, while the award for best TV/radio has been expanded to include “film” to make theatrical or IMAX films eligible.


Nominations must be completed online no later than April 9, 2008.  All supporting material must be postmarked by April 12, 2008.  The winners will be honored during the National Academies Keck Futures Intiative Conference in Irvine, Calif., to be held Nov. 13-15, 2008.  For information on eligibility, submission requirements, and nomination procedures, visit, and see this Sunday’s issues of the New York Times “Books Section” and the Los Angeles Times “Book Review Section.” 


The winners of the Communication Awards will be selected by a panel of 11 judges:


Donald Kennedy (committee chair and member, National Academy of Sciences and Institute of Medicine), president emeritus, Stanford University; and editor in chief, Science

Barbara J. Culliton (former chair and member, Institute of Medicine), contributing editor, Health Affairs; former deputy editor, Nature; and former news editor, Science


Gregory Andorfer, Emmy-winning producer for informal science communications for television, IMAX, radio, print and museums; and former executive director, Maryland Science Center


Pablo J. Boczkowski, associate professor, program in media, technology and society, and department of communication studies, Northwestern University


Deborah Blum, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and author; professor, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Wisconsin, Madison

Robert W. Lucky (member, National Academy of Engineering), retired corporate vice president for research, Telcordia Technologies Inc.


Joe Palca, science correspondent, National Public Radio


Henry Petroski (member, National Academy of Engineering), Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and professor of history, Duke University; and engineering columnist, American Scientist


Cristine Russell, president, Council for the Advancement of Science Writing


Dan Vergano, science and medical reporter, USA Today, and Nieman Foundation Fellow for Journalism, Harvard University (2008)


Carl Zimmer, science writer and book author


The awards are one component of the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative, a far-reaching initiative designed to realize the untapped potential of interdisciplinary research.  Funded by a $40 million grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, the initiative sponsors conferences to bring together outstanding scientists, engineers, and medical researchers, as well as funding agencies, and individuals from the science media, funding organizations, and other settings to pose new questions and share ideas for interdisciplinary research and communication.  More information about the Futures Initiative can be found at


The National Academies comprise the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and the National Research Council.  They are private, nonprofit institutions that provide science, technology, and health policy advice under an 1863 congressional charter. 


The W.M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late W.M. Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Company.  The foundation's grantmaking is focused primarily on pioneering efforts in the areas of medical research, science, and engineering.  Based in Los Angeles, the foundation also maintains a Southern California Grant Program that provides support in the areas of civic and community services with a special emphasis on children.


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