Call for Nominations for 2012 Communication Awards


WASHINGTON – The Keck Futures Initiative – a program of the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine – is accepting nominations for the 2012 Communication Awards for excellence in reporting and communicating science, engineering, and medicine to the public during 2011.  A $20,000 prize will be awarded in each of the following categories: book; film, radio, or TV; magazine or newspaper; and online.


Nominations must be completed online no later than Feb. 10, 2012.  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


The recipients of the 2011 Communication Awards were:


Rebecca Skloot for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a compelling and graceful use of narrative that illuminates the human and ethical issues of scientific research and medical advances.  (Crown Books, a division of Random House)

Alexa Elliott (producer) and WPBT2 Production Team for "Changing Seas: Sentinels of the Seas," South Florida Public Television (WPBT2), on
what Florida’s bottlenose dolphins tell us about the health of coastal waters and our own exposure to chemical contaminants.


Amy Harmon of the New York Times for "Target: Cancer," on the promises and realities of clinical drug trials as seen through the eyes of passionate researchers and worried, sometimes desperate patients.


Andrew Revkin, senior fellow for environmental understanding, Pace University, and New York Times blogger, for "Dot Earth" Blog, pioneering social media about the issues of climate and sustainability with worldwide readership and impact.


The awards are one component of the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative, 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 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 about the Futures Initiative can be found at


The National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, Institute of Medicine, and National Research Council make up the National Academies.  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 William Myron Keck, founder of The Superior Oil Company.  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.



Molly Galvin, Office of News and Public Information

202-334-2138; e-mail

Kimberly Suda-Blake, National Academies Keck Futures Initiative

949-721-2270; e-mail