Elizabeth Svoboda 2008
Independent JournalistThe winner of the 2008 Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award, an annual prize for young science journalists, is Elizabeth Svoboda, a writer based in San Jose, Calif. Svoboda received the award and its $1000 prize for four stories: “The Fuel Cell” (Popular Science); “The Asteroid Hunters” (Discover); “Scents & Sensibility” (Psychology Today); and “The sun blotted out from the sky” (Salon).
The panel of judges cited Svoboda for her wide-ranging topics and her ability to adapt to the needs and styles of different publications. The judges praised her for humanizing science by making “really good use of people,” and for the clarity of her writing. They also liked Svoboda’s “reasonably skeptical” look at the claims of researchers.
The judges also awarded an Honorable Mention to Tracy Powell for two stories in the Berkeley Science Review: “Robot Circus,” and “The Lovely Bones.” Writing for a university magazine, Powell impressed the judges with a “flair for language” and clear explanations of science.
The award will be presented by the Evert Clark Fund and the National Association of Science Writers, in conjunction with the National Press Foundation. The ceremony will take place on Oct. 26 during the annual meeting of the National Association of Science Writers and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing in Palo Alto, Calif.
Judges for the 2008 award were Rick Weiss, former Washington Post science writer (now senior fellow at the Center for American Progress); Laura Helmuth, senior science editor at Smithsonian; Richard Kerr, senior writer at Science; Susan Katz Miller, writer for Newsweek and other publications; and David Lindley, author of such books as Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science and The End of Physics: The Myth of a Unified Theory.