My fellow Hive Overmind blogger Carl Zimmer just won the American Association for the Advancement of Science’s Kavli Science Journalism Award for writing in large newspaper, specifically the New York Times.
Carl Zimmer won in the large newspaper category for a trio of articles he wrote for The New York Times on aspects of genetics and evolution. “I sometimes feel a little embarrassed that I like to write articles about the kinds of basic questions my kids ask me,” Zimmer said. “For the three stories I submitted, the questions were, “What’s a virus?” “What’s a gene?” and “Why do fireflies flash?” I had a marvelous time talking with scientists about the complex answers to those simple questions, and now, thanks to this award, I don’t have to feel at all embarrassed.” Zimmer previously won in the online category in 2004.
And he shouldn’t be embarrassed, because it’s exactly those kinds of questions that should be written about! Engaging the public is what more scientists should do, and if they did it as well as Carl the world would be a better place.