Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting
CASW established the Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting in 2000. The prize, which is given annually, seeks to honor a writer for a body of work published or broadcast within the last five years which, for reasons of uncommon clarity, accuracy, breadth of coverage, enterprise, originality, insight and narrative power, has made a profound and lasting contribution to public awareness and understanding of critical advances in medical science and their impact on human health and well-being. Beginning in 2013, the competition includes work appearing in digital media.
The honoree receives an award of $3,000 and a framed certificate. The prize is presented at a joint awards ceremony held in conjunction with ScienceWriters, a confluence of CASW's New Horizons in Science Briefing and the National Association of Science Writer's Annual Workshops. Awardee travel expenses to the award ceremony are covered.
Recent Winners of the Victor Cohn Prize
- 2012 - Jon Cohen, Science
- 2011 - Ron Winslow, The Wall Street Journal
- 2010 - Marilynn Marchione, The Associated Press
- 2009 - Denise Grady, The New York Times
- 2008 - Joe Palca, National Public Radio
- 2007 - Geeta Anand, staff writer, The Wall Street Journal
- 2006 - Jerome Groopman, staff writer, The New Yorker
- 2005 - Rick Weiss, reporter, The Washington Post
- 2004 - Michelle Trudeau, reporter, National Public Radio
- 2003 - Shannon Brownlee, freelance reporter
- 2002 - Daniel Q. Haney, medical editor, The Associated Press
- 2001 - Jon Palfreman, freelance documentary filmmaker
- 2000 - Laurie Garrett, reporter, Newsday, and Lawrence K. Altman, reporter, The New York Times
The Nominating Process
Editors, colleagues, scientists and others familiar with the candidate's body of work may proffer nominations. Individuals may nominate themselves, but are encouraged to send at least one letter of support from a knowledgeable colleague. Nominators may submit up to five examples of the candidate's journalistic endeavors, all published or aired since January 2008. Books are not eligible. Letters of nomination should include an assessment of the nominee's body of work along with a biographical sketch.
Please provide five copies of each of the published stories or, in the case of broadcast, radio tapes, DVDs or CDs (accompanied by typed or printed scripts).
The next deadline for submission is July 31, 2013.
Send the nomination package to:
The Victor Cohn Award
P.O. Box 910
Hedgesville, WV 25427
About Victor Cohn
As science and medical reporter for the Minneapolis Tribune and then science editor, science and medical reporter and health columnist for the Washington Post, Victor Cohn distinguished himself for the clarity, honesty, robustness, fairness and effectiveness of his reporting. He was very much at the forefront of coverage of virtually every major advance in medicine over the last five decades, from the triumph of the Salk polio vaccine and the first human experiments with cancer chemotherapy to the eradication of smallpox and the manipulation of human genes.
He was the first triple winner of the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award for newspaper reporting and the first two-time winner of both the National Association of Science Writer's Science-in-Society Award, and the AAAS-Westinghouse (now the AAAS-Whittaker Foundation) prize.
In 1959, Cohn co-founded the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing. In 1961, he was elected to a two-year term as president of NASW. Cohn is the author of several books, including News and Numbers, a widely used journalists' guide for interpreting and reporting statistical data in medical and scientific reports.