I’d like to thank the academies…

By Ed Yong | October 14, 2010 11:00 am


For a few weeks now, I’ve been cryptically hinting at some good news and I can finally reveal what it is: I’ve won one of the 2010 National Academies Communication Awards.

These awards are jointly presented by the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. They consist for four $20,000 prizes (seriously) for “creative, original works that address issues and advances in science, engineering and/or medicine for the general public”, in the categories of book; magazine/newspaper; broadcast; and online. I won the online category for this blog (press release here).

I’m incredibly honoured, rather blown away and very humbled. Past winners have included Carl Zimmer, Neil Shubin, Andy Revkin and Steven Johnson, and I assume competition is fierce.

I also regard this as a decent victory for science blogs as a medium. Over the last year, I seem to have been stuck in a strange Groundhog Day where I’m destined to recursively defend the idea that blogs can be a worthy avenue for science journalism and communication. The fact that blogs can win competitions like this will, I hope, do good things for the medium’s credibility.

So, thanks to the judges and congratulations to the other winners. I’ll be picking up the prize at the awards ceremony in Washington D.C. next Friday, which I’m especially looking forward to because my wife gets to join me. For all the support that she provides, it’s only fitting.

These, by the way, are the six pieces that I entered for the competition (yes, it includes the duck sex post. Next year’s goal is to get knighted for the one about masturbating squirrels).


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Comments (52)

  1. WOW! Congrats! This is fantastic news, and well deserved.

  2. YAY!!! This is so awesome!! They could not have chosen better. :)

  3. Congratulations, Ed, on an awesome award for a wonderful blog. Plus, now I can say that I know National Academies award winner. 😉

  4. Congrats Ed! Very well deserved, indeed. And a nice paycheck to boot:)

  5. Congratulations! What a great honor.

  6. Congratulations. Incredibly well-deserved!

  7. Incredibly awesome!!!!! Congratulations!!!!!

  8. Congratulations! :) Well deserved award.

  9. Congrats, Ed! Hope to see you in, DC. You can buy me a beer.

  10. Congratulations – pity I’ll miss you, having escaped from DC!

  11. Fantastic, Ed! Congratulations!

  12. Amos Zeeberg (Discover Web Editor)

    Nice! Impressed, proud, not surprised.

  13. Tracey Switek

    Wow, that’s amazing! Congratulations!

  14. CW

    Congrats! You’re one of my favorite science bloggers!

  15. Well deserved, you have one of my favorite blogs!


  16. I read only a small proportion of the scientific blogs on the web, so to be “scientifically” honest I should say that I am not sure whether you deserve this award… But to be even more honest, I am SURE you do 😉

  17. Alexis Madrigal had an idea simiilar to mine. Will there be a get-together with your readers, preferably in some venue suitable for dispelling any misconceptions you might have about the quality of American beer?

  18. Congrats Ed. Awesome. And quite a considerable amount of money in the bank 😛

  19. Zach Miller

    How wonderful is this? Congrats, Ed, I couldn’t think of a better recipient!

  20. Wim

    I’ve never heard of this award but it’s most certainly well deserved! In my opinion, your blog is the best science blog around. Congratulations!

  21. You totally deserve it! Keep up the excellent work.

  22. I think this means Discover now has to pay you more than Zimmer and Plait, right! 😉 Congrats!!
    (…now excuse me while I go read about squirrels).

  23. Old Geezer

    Congrats! If we want to have a beer with you will it have to be room temperature?

  24. William

    I’d almost forgotten about that ape tickling post… and the duck sex… good memories!

    Congrats on the award, very well deserved.

  25. You deserve it.

    And, yes, you’ve shown that blogs can be a worthy avenue for science journalism and communication.

    However, you should be cautious about using the term “blown away” in the same post that links to items on “glowing bombs,” “electrical stimulation,” “sexual battles of ducks” and “scientists tickle apes.”

  26. Congratulations Ed — I don’t get to check out as many science blogs as I should, but it’s always fun and stimulating to read yours (I still shake my head in awe over those ducks — great conversation-stopping dinner subject!).

  27. Awesome! Now I know why you were being all top-secret!

  28. Wow, congrats!!! Been a longtime follower of your fantastic writing… congratulations on a well deserved award!!!

  29. zackoz

    Congratulations Ed, well merited.

  30. Charles Sullivan
  31. Nic O'Connor

    Huge congrats Ed, academy award winner. Awesome news, you are a proper ‘sleb now. We are awaiting beers on your return :-) x

  32. Abi Brown

    Congratulations Edmundo! Don’t forget to come back soon! ;o)

  33. That is so awesome! Congratulations!!

  34. MattK
  35. Congratulations. But even more, congratulations on such amazingly good work.

  36. Thanks for the congratulations everyone! I’ve been sitting on this news for a month now which is about long enough to get over the shock. For those who asked, I’m not in DC for that long and it’s sort of a hit-and-run job, collecting the award, seeing as much of the Smithsonian as I can, and then flying back. But we’ll see…

  37. Daniel J. Andrews

    Late to the show…sigh…but Excellent, Ed! Congratulations!! I’m still using the info from the duck sex post to awe and amaze various folks. Last time was just two weeks ago. That’s a post that just keeps on giving.

  38. Arr, a hearty congratulations! Have a mug o’ rum!

  39. CK

    I only have time to regularly read a handful of blogs, but you have been on my shortlist from the beginning. It’s great to see your exceptional talent recognized so publicly. Well-deserved congratulations!!!!

  40. Clertar

    Congrats man, it’s well deserved. Your blog is proper bo.

  41. yogi-one

    Duck sex rules!!!
    (Just Kidding!)
    You totally deserve it Ed. You are fantastic science writer. Keep up the great work!

  42. Isis the Scientist

    Congrats, Ed. If anyone deserves this level of recognition, it’s you.

  43. Jenny Morber

    As a long-time reader, I also offer congratulations on this well-deserved award. It was an honor to meet you Friday night.

  44. Congrats! Well deserved. I recently blogged a piece on why scientists in academia tend not to blog and why they should be advocates for their research and the patients who could be helped by it.



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