The winner of the 2015 Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award, an annual prize for young science journalists, is Madhumita Venkataramanan, now head of technology coverage for the Telegraph in London.
Venkataramanan received the award and its $1,000 prize for two stories in Wired (“My Identity for Sale” and “Welcome to BrainGate”) and one story for the BBC (“The Superpower Police Now Use to Tackle Crime.”)
The panel of judges cited Venkataramanan for her thorough and wide-ranging reporting, her ability to bring fresh and clever approaches to topics, and her compelling and memorable narratives.
Raised in India, Venkataramanan earned a B.A. in biology and an M.S. in clinical immunology from Oxford University. While a student, she worked as a correspondent for the Singapore-based magazine India Se and as an editor for The Oxford Student. She went on to get an M.A. from New York University’s Science, Health and Environmental Reporting Program (SHERP) before landing a job as associate editor at Wired in the UK, where she had previously worked as an intern. In August, she left Wired to head up technology coverage at the Telegraph.
The award was presented by the Evert Clark Fund and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing in a ceremony Saturday, October 10, during ScienceWriters2015 in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Venkataramanan is shown receiving the award certificate from CASW President Alan Boyle.
Judges for the 2015 award were National Public Radio science correspondent (and CASW board member) Richard Harris; Warren Leary, retired science correspondent for the New York Time, former science writer for the Associated Press and former CASW board member; David Lindley, author of Uncertainty: Einstein, Heisenberg, Bohr, and the Struggle for the Soul of Science and other books about physics; Susan Milius, life sciences writer at Science News; and Laura Helmuth, science and health editor at Slate.
The Clark/Payne Award was created to encourage young science writers by recognizing outstanding reporting in all fields of science. It is given each year in honor of journalist Ev Clark, who offered friendship and advice to a generation of young reporters. The annual judging is organized by John Carey, former long-time senior correspondent at Business Week and colleague of Seth Payne, who raised money for the award in memory of Ev Clark. CASW now manages the submission process and presentation of the award in cooperation with the National Press Foundation, which administers the fund. This is the 27th year of the award.
Entrants must be age 30 or younger. The deadline for submissions is the end of June each year. For more information, please see the Evert Clark page.