Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

Ben Patrusky celebrated at ScienceWriters2013

Colleagues surprised Ben Patrusky with tributes of words, music and contributions to a new CASW fund in his honor as they gathered in Gainesville, Florida for ScienceWriters2013 and the 51st New Horizons in Science briefings.

Rick Borchelt, a veteran science writers and former CASW board member, opened the annual Awards Gala held by CASW and the National Association of Science Writers on Nov. 2, 2013 by setting friends' and colleagues tributes to Rachmaninoff's Rhapsodies on a Theme of Paganini. Borchelt said the last time he heard the work, Ben was "fooling around" with Variation 18 during a New Horizons conference.

Watch video recordings of the annual lecture.

"The more you ask about Ben, the more facets—rhapsodies—he represents," Borchelt said. "Few of us have been privileged to see all these variations and facets of Ben's life and career."

CASW Past President Joann Rodgers presented Patrusky with a citation recognizing his "decades of brilliant contributions to the Council, to science writing and to the public understanding of science and technology." And Immediate Past President Cristine Russell surprised Patrusky with an announcement that friends and colleagues had donated more than $35,000 to CASW to create a Patrusky Fund to carry on his work.

Patrusky expressed his gratitude and affection to the auditorium filled with science writers at the University of Florida's Harn Museum of Art, who greeted him and then returned him to his seat with sustained standing ovations.

A crystal prism presented to Patrusky honors the establishment of the Patrusky Lectureship, which will be supported by the fund. The first lecture was presented the following day during New Horizons in Science by renowned Harvard chemist George M. Whitesides.

To read the tributes to CASW's Executive Director Emeritus that served as inspiration for the celebration at Gainesville's Samuel P. Harn Museum of Art, see this page.

Contributions to the Patrusky Fund are welcomed. (See this page for details and a list of contributors.) In addition to the Patrusky Lecture, the fund will support CASW projects that carry on Ben's legacy.

Retiring CASW Executive Director Ben Patrusky was honored in spoken and written word, music and the establishment of a fund in his honor during ScienceWriters2013 in Gainesville, FL, Nov. 2 and 3. Ben was hailed during a celebration at the Harn Museum of Art at the University of Florida in remarks and presentations by former CASW board member Rick Borchelt, current CASW President Alan Boyle and past presidents Joann Rodgers and Cristine Russell. The following day, Harvard chemist George M. Whitesides celebrated Ben's decades of work bringing scientists and science writers together as he delivered the inaugural Patrusky Lecture. (Photography by Mark Bennington.)