Date:  Jan. 9, 2017


Call for Nominations for 2017 Communication Awards


WASHINGTON -- The Keck Futures Initiative -- a program of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine -- is now accepting nominations for the 2017 Communication Awards to recognize excellence in reporting and communicating science, engineering, and medicine to the public during 2016. A $20,000 prize is awarded in each of the following categories: book; film, radio, or TV; magazine or newspaper; and online.


Nominations must be submitted online no later than Feb. 10, 2017. The winners will be honored in the fall at a ceremony in Washington, D.C. For information on eligibility, submission requirements, and nomination procedures, visit


Selected from 374 entries, last year’s winners were:



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"


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


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.  For more information, visit


The W.M. Keck Foundation was established in 1954 by the late William Myron Keck, founder of the Superior Oil Co. In recent years, the foundation has focused on four broad areas: science and engineering research; undergraduate education; medical research; and Southern California. Each of the foundation's grant programs invests in people and programs that are making a difference in the quality of life, now and for the future.




Anne Heberger Marino, Senior Program Officer

National Academies Keck Futures Initiative


Twitter: @KeckFutures


Molly Galvin, Senior Media Relations Officer

Office of News and Public Information

202-334-2138; e-mail

Twitter: @theNASEM

RSS feed: