Thursday, March 24, 2005

Pioneers with arrows in our backs

Alexandra Witze and Tom Siegfried of the Dallas Morning News have won the 2004 Science in Society Journalism Awards from the National Association of Science Writers for their June 2003 work: "'Science's Big Unknown,' a three-part series on nanotechnology, which explored its health and environmental effects." You can download PDFs of their articles here.

It's a well-earned honor, but the judges note that the writers "raised questions about the safety of nanotech months before any other major media outlet." OK. I'll accept that, I suppose. My old employer never made it to the status of "major media outlet." But I'm still rather proud of our work on the nanotech/environment issue, which we were covering as early as March 2002. Then, we were on the story and covering every major development -- in August 2002, November 2002 (when we were introduced to a certain instant pundit), then again in January 2003 when we broke the news on the ETC Group's demand for a research moratorium, then again in April when a toxicology survey was released (the "survey" of previous studies has since been misinterpreted in just about every news report as new "studies.") When Greenpeace issued its opinion in July 2003, reporter Douglas Brown and I worked into the night and early morning to break the news.

I was mostly a behind-the-scenes guy, assigning and editing the stories, until July 2003, and I haven't shut up since.

NanoBot Backgrounder
Rebuttal from Greenpeace's scientific adviser
Nanotechnology industry takes Greenpeace's bait
The Greenpeace Report, Part II: NanoWars
UK sets up a fragmented nanopolicy

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