The Award for Distinguished Science Journalism recognizes outstanding science journalism that makes atmospheric or related sciences material accessible and interesting to the general public. The award honors individuals rather than institutions and is intended to acknowledge professional journalists rather than scientists or others who do outreach or communication.
The report or reports can be a single article or broadcast; a series of related articles or broadcasts; a single blog or series of blogs, sustained social media activity, or opinion pieces. Multiple unrelated articles or broadcasts, representing a journalist's recent body of work covering different topics in the atmospheric and related sciences also may be submitted. Submissions in a language other than English are welcomed but must be accompanied by translated text or subtitles in a video. Submissions must be published or broadcast all or in part during the preceding calendar year.
To be considered, each piece, including those in a body of work, must go beyond routine reporting of an event, such as publication of a scientific paper, to put the event in a wider scientific context. Acceptable content are scientific discoveries, principles, advances, and impacts in all media outlets including radio, television, film, newspaper, magazine, social media, and online. The award embraces a broad definition of journalism including, but not limited to reporting, interviewing, humorous blogging, and opinion or commentary pieces, as long as they convey strong, accurate science.
The AMS Board on Outreach and Informal Education (BOIE), in consultation with the Commissioner for Education and Engagement, is responsible for overseeing the award process and forming the selection committee. The selection committee, not fewer than five members, shall be composed of scientists, educators, and journalists, at least one member of the BOIE, one member of the Committee on the Station Scientist, and the EEC Commissioner. The successful nomination will be reviewed by the STAC Commissioner for the quality of its scientific content. Only one recipient may be selected.
Nominations require the submission of nominated materials and a one page letter explaining the contents, context, and impact of the submitted work. The nominated materials must have been published or broadcasted all or in part during the preceding calendar year. Self nominations are allowed and highly encouraged. It is not necessary to be an AMS member to nominate or support an award nomination. Award committee members will not be involved in the nomination process for the awards they select. Nominations are due on or before 1 May.
- A letter of no more than one page explaining the contents, context, and impact of the submitted work
- Award citation (limit of 25 words)
- URLs of published or broadcasted materials (If a URL is not fully and freely accessible, then the material must be submitted in portable document format (PDF)
- Translated text or subtitles (if video submission) for any material in a language other than English