Accepts entries starting
Entry Deadline February 1, 2014
Decision Date
Ceremony Date October 18, 2014
Entry Fee (See Details)
Monetary or Material Award (See Details)

About the Award

NASW established the Science in Society awards to provide recognition — without subsidy from any professional or commercial interest — for investigative or interpretive reporting about the sciences and their impact on society. NASW especially encourages entries of critical, probing pieces that would not receive an award from an interest group. Beginning with the first award in 1972, previous winners have demonstrated innovative reporting that goes well beyond the science itself and into the ethical problems and social implications. A committee of accomplished peers judges the entries each year.

2014 Categories:

• Books: An entry will consist of a book-length work that has been published and made commercially available, either in print or as an eBook.

• Opinion: An entry will consist of a single article. Opinion entries must espouse a particular opinion in order to be considered.

•Science reporting: An entry will consist of a single article of up to 6,000 words, or a single broadcast of up to 10 minutes in length.

• Science reporting for a local or regional market: An entry will consist of a single article of up to 6,000 words, or a single broadcast of up to 10 minutes in length. The publication should be of a local or regional nature, regardless of the topic.

• Longform science reporting: Entries in this category may be a single article or broadcast, or a series. Single article entries should total 5,000 words or more; broadcast pieces, 8½ minutes or more. Multipart series may total any length. Longform entries may be for any market. - See more at:

Notable Winners


• In the Book category, David Quammen for his book Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic (W.W. Norton).

• In the Science Reporting category, “Witness to an Antarctic Meltdown” by freelancer Douglas Fox, published in Scientific American.

• In the Longform category, “Playing with Fire” by Patricia Callahan, Sam Roe and Michael Hawthorne, published in the Chicago Tribune.

• In the Science Reporting for a Local or Regional Audience category, “The Color of Bunny” by freelancer Hillary Rosner, published in High Country News.

• In the Commentary or Opinion category, “The Real Scandal” by freelancer Christie Aschwanden, posted on the blog The Last Word on Nothing.


Science in Society Awards Committee chairs:
• Amber Dance
• Dennis Meredith

Other judges are chosen on a volunteer basis.

Monetary/Material Award Details


Reasonable travel and hotel expenses of the award winners will be reimbursed. In cases of multiple authors or producers, only one person’s expenses will be covered, and the prize money will be split between the entrants at their discretion. The prize money is intended for content authors or producers, not publications.

Eligibility Requirements

Any writer (or team) is eligible to submit one entry in each category. All entries should be attributed to a bylined creator or creators.

Work must be written or spoken in English, intended for the lay adult, and first published or broadcast in North America during the previous calendar year. Winners of last year’s awards and individuals who have won three times are not eligible.

Entries should exhibit clear relevance to society as a whole. Pure science articles, without that relevance, will not be considered.

Entry Fee Details

Required Material

Please follow the rules carefully. Submissions that do not follow these procedures will not be considered.

Any person, including the author(s), may submit material. Entrants may submit only one entry per category.
There is no submission fee.

Entries must meet the purpose stated above. Material about significant advances in science, no matter how well written, will be ineligible if the relevance to the broader society is unclear.

Only online entries will be accepted.

With the exception of the Book category, in which hardcopies may be required, all entry material must be uploaded to be part of the entry. (For eBooks with no print edition, please send 10 electronic copies, as outlined below.) Once submitted, an entry may not be altered or edited.

Entry Format

Please adhere to the following file formats and sizes:

• Documents: PDF, max 10 MB (to minimize file size, embedded images should be JPG/JPEG, 96 DPI, which is sufficient for web resolution)
• Audio: MP3, max 70 MB
• Video: MPG or .WMV, max 70 MB

You may also provide the entry as a web address, particularly if the file is too large for these limits. Those entering websites need only provide a working URL (with a password allowing cost-free access if necessary). Provide the URL(s) in a PDF uploaded in the entry section.

Note: There is a 70 MB limit for uploaded audio and video, which should be sufficient for the majority of entries, e.g. ~24 minutes of audio with a 3:1 compression ratio that allows for excellent sound quality preservation falls under 70 MB. For audio or video pieces larger than 70 MB, a one to three minute clip should be uploaded and the complete entry should be shipped on DVD or CD (see below). Shorter radio or television entries must be submitted entirely online. If shorter pieces are mailed rather than uploaded, they will not be considered.

Instructions to mail book entries or audio/video files over 70 MB will be provided during the entry process, but please note that any materials must be postmarked no later than February 1, 2014, to be considered. Submissions will be accepted only at the provided P.O. box. NOTE: FedEx and UPS do NOT deliver to P.O. boxes.

Contact Information

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