Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award for Young Science Journalists

Now in its 32nd year, CASW's Evert Clark/Seth Payne Award was created to recognize the contributions to journalism of both Ev Clark and Seth Payne.



The award is intended to encourage young science writers by recognizing outstanding reporting and writing in any field of science. The 2021 winner will receive $1,000.

The award is given in memory of Ev Clark, a veteran journalist at Business Week, The New York Times and Newsweek, and Seth Payne, his long-time friend and colleague at Business Week and a founder of the award. It is designed to carry on the work of both men, who offered friendship and advice to generations of young journalists. To make a donation to the Evert Clark fund or another CASW award or fellowship, see CASW's support page.


The award is limited to non-technical, print and online journalism. Articles published in newspapers (including college newspapers), magazines, newsletters and websites are eligible. Both freelancers and staff writers are eligible. (Books, as well as articles in technical journals and trade association publications are not eligible).

Science writing includes, but is not limited to, writing in the biological, physical, environmental, computer, and space sciences, along with technology, mathematics, health and science policy.

Entries will be judged on the basis of accuracy, clarity, insightfulness, fairness, resourcefulness, and timeliness.

Applicants must be age 30 or younger. The 2021 award will be limited to those applicants whose 31st birthday is July 1, 2021 or later.

Applications for the 2021 award will be accepted beginning January 1, 2021. Applicants may submit a single article or series, or up to four individual pieces. Articles must be published between July 1, 2020 and June 30, 2021, but an entire series will be accepted if most parts are published between those dates. Applications may be submitted by the author or on the author's behalf. All entries must be submitted in English.

Entries should not be elaborate. They may be submitted online through the CASW fellowships and awards site, entries and submissions for the 2021 award must be received by JUNE 30, 2021.


Please contact Sylvia Kantor with any questions.

Judging and Presentation

The award is judged by a panel of science writers and scientists selected by CASW and the Clark/Payne Fund, which was originally established at the National Press Foundation and is now managed by CASW.

Past Winners

2020 Katherine J. Wu, The New York Times
2019 Ryan Cross, Chemical & Engineering News
2018 Joshua Sokol, freelance, for stories in Quanta Magazine, Mosaic, Nova Next and The Atlantic
2017 Eric Boodman, STAT
2016 Natalie WolchoverQuanta Magazine
2015 Madhumita Venkataramanan, freelance, for stories in Wired and on the BBC
2014 Azeen Ghorayshi, freelance, for stories in the East Bay Express and Newsweek
2013 Megan Scudellari, freelance, for stories in MATTERThe ScientistDiscover and DoubleXScience
2012 Gayathri Vaidyanathan, freelance, for stories in NatureGreenwire, and Energywire
2011 Christine Peterson, Casper Star-Tribune
2010 Amber Dance, freelance, for stories in the Los Angeles TimesNature Medicine and Nature
2009 Alicia Chang, Associated Press
2008 Elizabeth Svoboda, freelance, for stories in Popular Science, Discover, Psychology Today and Salon
2007 Jia-Rui Chong, The Los Angeles Times
2006 Combined with 2005
2005 Nicholas Zamiska, The Wall Street Journal  [Award for 2005-2006 because of change from AAAS to the ScienceWriters meeting]
2004 Kara Platoni, East Bay Express
2003 Jennifer Couzin, Science
2002 Lila Guterman, The Chronicle of Higher Education
2001 Evan Ratliff, Wired
2000 Joel P. Engardio, San Francisco Weekly
1999 Kathryn S. Brown, freelance
1998 Nell Boyce, New Scientist
1997 David Kestenbaum, freelance
1996 Michael Milstein, Billings Gazette
1995 Richard Stone, Discover
1994 Carl Zimmer, Discover
1993 Robert Langreth, Popular Science
1992 Elizabeth Corcoran, freelance
1991 Karen Wright, freelance
1990 Malcolm Gladwell, The Washington Post
1989 Leslie Vreeland, Money