Wolchover received the award and its $1,000 prize for four stories in Quanta:
- Gravitational Waves Discovered at Long Last
- The Quantum Secret to Superconductivity
- Visions of Future Physics
- A Fight for the Soul of Science
The panel of judges cited Wolchover for her great range, for her “masterful” ledes, for her impressive ability to make tough stories enticing (and to explain complex ideas like Bayesian statistics), and for making the people in her stories come alive. “She can really write about physics,” said one judge.
Wolchover earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Tufts University and studied graduate-level physics at the University of California, Berkeley. Before coming to Quanta, she co-authored several academic papers in nonlinear optics, and wrote for LiveScience, Popular Science, Seed, Make magazine and other publications. Another of her articles was recently honored with the 2016 Excellence in Statistical Reporting Award, presented by the American Statistical Association, and yet another was chosen for inclusion in The Best Writing on Mathematics 2015.
Read Shannon Hall's Q&A with Natalie Wolchover at CASW Showcase
The award was presented by the Evert Clark Fund and the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing (CASW). The ceremony took place on Saturday, October 29, at the Witte Museum in San Antonio, TX, during ScienceWriters2016. The ScienceWriters conference combines the annual meeting and workshop program of the National Association of Science Writers and the New Horizons in Science briefings presented by CASW and will be held in San Antonio from October 28 to November 1.
Judges for the 2016 award were Warren Leary, retired science correspondent for the New York Times, former science writer for the Associated Press, and former CASW board member; Laura Helmuth, health, science, and environment editor at the Washington Post; Eugene Russo, editor of the Front Matter section of PNAS; Elizabeth Pennisi, senior correspondent at Science; and Liz Marshall, project coordinator in the Family Involvement Laboratory at the University of Maryland and former writer for The Scientist. They selected Wolchover from a highly competitive field of 37 entries.
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 for 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 28th 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.