SciCom graduate Meghan Rosen received the 2013 Science Newsbrief Award from the D.C. Science Writers Association (DCSWA) for a sharp and colorful news story in Science News.
The story, titled "Paralyzed rats relearn to pee," appeared in Science News on August 10, 2013. Rosen’s "images paint a vivid picture of the physiology of paralysis, while her masterful reporting makes clear the study's importance for human health. Her story, though perhaps not for the squeamish, is an example of short-form science writing at its best," said one of the contest's judges.
DCSWA, the largest regional group of science writers in the U.S., includes more than 500 reporters, editors, authors, and public information officers in and around the nation's capital. Its members created the annual Science Newsbrief Award in 2009 to recognize an oft-overlooked part of the craft: conveying new research findings in a tight space, but with abundant style.
"Most science writing awards go to complex, multipart stories, but those awards often fail to recognize one of the most challenging—and most common—tasks of the science writer: writing short," the group states in its award notice. "The DCSWA Newsbrief Award exists because short, accessible, and accurate pieces make an enormous contribution to the public understanding of science."
Rosen is a staff science writer at Science News, covering the breadth of research as a general assignment reporter. She worked there as an intern after graduating from the Science Communication Program in June 2012. Rosen then worked at the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland, as a communications intern before returning to Science News.
She came to the SciCom program with a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from the University of California, Davis. Rosen described her experiences in making the switch to a career in science writing in this interview at the Scientific American "Incubator" blog.
Rosen received an honorable mention from DCSWA in the 2012 Science Newsbrief Awards. The previous year, SciCom graduate Nadia Drake won the award, also for an article in Science News.
Rosen will receive $500 and a crystal trophy for her award.