362 27 JANUARY 2017 • VOL 355 ISSUE 6323 sciencemag.org SCIENCE
Consequential stories on important issues in medical research
are among the winners of the 2016 AAAS Kavli Science Journalism Awards, including a Swedish documentary that raised
disturbing questions about the research conduct of a surgeon at
the famed Karolinska Institute, a series in a small weekly newspaper that challenged claims of a local breast cancer epidemic,
and a report that researchers at leading U.S. medical institutions
routinely disregarded a law on reporting of study results.
The awards program went global last year, thanks to a
doubling of the endowment by The Kavli Foundation, and two
awards were established in each category: a Gold Award ($5,000)
and Silver Award ($3,500). There were entries this year from 54
countries, up from 44 last year.
Bosse Lindquist and his colleagues at the Swedish public
broadcaster, SVT, won the Gold Award for in-depth television
reporting for a three-part documentary on Paolo Macchiarini,
an Italian surgeon on the staff of the Karolinska Institute in
Stockholm. He had gained worldwide attention for his work on
synthetic tracheas, or windpipes, for human transplantation.
But the documentary showed how patients suffered and died in
connection with failed operations, and it raised numerous issues
concerning care and research ethics.
Peter Byrne, a freelance investigative reporter, received the
Gold Award in the small newspaper category for an 11-part series
in the Point Reyes Light of Marin County, California, that cast
doubt on claims of a breast cancer cluster in the affluent county.
He found that women in mostly white suburbs get more screen-
ing mammograms than women in lower-income communities.
The increased screening also returns higher rates of false posi-
The winners are:
tives. Byrne said his reporting on data quality problems afflicting
the federal and state cancer registries “needs to be taken seri-
ously by the highest levels of state and national government and
by the medical profession at large.”
“Enterprising reporting on the substance and process of re-
search is at the heart of good science journalism,” said Rush Holt,
chief executive officer of AAAS and executive publisher of the Sci-
ence family of journals. “Many of the award winners this year have
shown that solid reporting on science can both improve under-
standing and also trigger change.”
The winners will receive their awards at a 17 February ceremony
held in conjunction with the 2017 AAAS Annual Meeting in Boston.
Large Newspaper (Circulation of 150,000 or more)
Gold Award: Jop de Vrieze and Zvezdana Vukojevic,
NRC Handelsblad (Amsterdam), for “Het is een
prachtig kind. Waarom is hij overleden?” (It is a beautiful child. Why did he die?), April 23, 2016
Large Newspaper Silver Award: Christopher
Schrader, Süddeutsche Zeitung (Munich), for “Narben
am Grund” (Scars in the Ground), March 23, 2016.
Small Newspaper (Circulation less than 150,000)
Gold Award: Peter Byrne, Point Reyes Light (CA), for
“Busted! Breast Cancer, Money and the Media” (11-
part series), Nov. 5, 2015 -- Jan. 21, 2016
Small Newspaper Silver Award: Barbara Peters
Smith, Sarasota Herald-Tribune, for “Graying of HIV:
After 35 years of the AIDS virus, a generation makes
new medical history,” June 5, 2016.
Magazine Gold Award: Stephen S. Hall, Scientifc
American, for “Editing the Mushroom,” March 2016
Magazine Silver Award: Jane Qiu, Nature, for
“The Forgotten Continent,” July 14, 2016; “Listening
for Landslides,” April 28, 2016; “Trouble in Tibet,”
Jan. 14, 2016.
Television Spot News/Feature Reporting (20 minutes or less) Gold Award: Rebecca Morelle and Stuart
Denman, BBC Newsnight , BBC World, for “A primer on
the Paris climate conference,” Nov. 23, 2015.
Television Spot News/Feature Reporting Silver
Award: Nsikan Akpan and Matthew Ehrichs, PBS
NewsHour, for “What a smell looks like,” June 21, 2016.
Television In-Depth Reporting (more than 20
minutes) Gold Award: Bosse Lindquist, Johannes
Hallbom, Johan Brånstad, Anna Nordbeck, Jakob Lars-son, Johannes Wahlström, and Emil Engerdahl, SV T,
Swedish public television, for “The Experiments: The
Star Surgeon,” Jan. 13, 2016; “The Experiments: Every
surgeon has his own graveyard,” Jan. 20, 2016; “The
Experiments: The Labyrinth of Truth,” Jan. 27, 2016.
Television In-Depth Reporting Silver Award: Peter
Oxley, Gwyn Williams, Rob Hartel, and Kirk Johnson,
Windfall Films (London) for NOVA/WGBH, “Making
North America” series, Nov. 4, Nov. 11, Nov. 18, 2015.
Audio Gold Award: Ari Daniel and Peter Thomson,
Public Radio International’s “The World,” for “In
Greenland, a climate change mystery with clues written in water and stone,” Jan. 18, 2016; “Looking small
for big answers in Greenland,” Jan. 19, 2016; “Turning
ice into fre: How climate change could mean more
volcanic eruptions in Iceland,” Nov. 27, 2015.
Audio Silver Award: Shankar Vedantam, Kara
McGuirk-Allison, Maggie Penman, and Max Nesterak,
NPR “Hidden Brain” podcast, for “When Great Minds
Think Unlike: Inside Science’s ‘Replication Crisis,’ ”
May 24, 2016.
Online Gold Award: Charles Piller and Natalia Bronsh-tein, STAT, for “Law Ignored, Patients at Risk: Failure to
Report -- A STAT Investigation,” Dec. 13, 2015; “Failure
to report: About the investigation,” Dec. 13, 2015;
“STAT investigation sparked improved reporting of
study results, NIH says,” Feb. 16, 2016.
Online Silver Award: Christie Aschwanden, Five Thir-tyEight, for “Science Isn’t Broken. It’s just a hell of
a lot harder than we give it credit for,” Aug. 19, 2015;
“You Can’t Trust What You Read About Nutrition. We
found a link between cabbage and innie bellybuttons,
but that doesn’t mean it’s real,” Jan. 6, 2016; “Failure
Is Moving Science Forward. The replication crisis is a
sign that science is working,” March 24, 2016.
Children’s Science News Gold Award: Anna Rothschild, Gross Science from NOVA (videos), for “What
Really Causes Cavities?” Jan. 25, 2016; “See Microbes
with this DIY Microscope,” Jan. 4, 2016; “Three Surprising Questions About Periods,” Feb. 10, 2016.
Children’s Science News Silver Award: Roberta
Kwok, Science News for Students (online site), for
“The shocking electric eel!” June 2, 2016.
AAAS Kavli Science Journalism
Award winners named
By Earl Lane
The Children’s Science News Silver
Award went to an article entitled
“The shocking electric eel!”