Center for Public Integrity wins science journalism award

'Science for Sale' series honored by National Association of Science Writers

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Emilie Udell for the Center for Public Integrity

A landmark Center for Public Integrity series illuminating the troubling impact of distorted, industry-supported science has been honored by the National Association of Science Writers.

The project, Science for Sale, received the group’s Science in Society Journalism Award for longform reporting — one of five such awards in various categories that NASW has awarded annually. The prizes are “intended to encourage critical, probing work that would not receive an award from an interest group.”

The Center’s pieces, which ran from February — May 2016, were written by reporters Jie Jenny Zou and David Heath and managing editor, environment, Jim Morris, and were edited by Morris.

“We’re deeply honored to receive this award, particularly given the importance of the subject matter,” said Center for Public Integrity CEO John Dunbar. “The insidious creep of industry-backed ‘science’ used to upend established, bona fide research into public health hazards is something that should be of great concern to us all.”

Similar sentiments were reflected in comments by the contest’s judges.

“In this timely, multi-part series,” they wrote, “the reporters expose an insidious, widespread, and shockingly successful effort by industry-funded ‘experts’ to cast doubt on established scientific evidence of numerous health hazards — at an incalculable cost to public safety.”

The NASW prize is but the latest in a series of honors bestowed on ”Science for Sale.”  The project also was a finalist in the John B. Oakes Award for Distinguished Environmental Journalism and won a Dateline Award from the Society of Professional Journalists D.C. Pro Chapter.

Winners of the NASW awards receive a cash prize of $2,500, to be awarded at an October reception in San Francisco at the 10th World Conference of Science Journalists.  

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