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Seismic Sensors in Orbit
The Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism – Features is given annually to an individual journalist or a group of journalists in recognition of a feature story or series in any medium, except books, that makes information about the Earth and space sciences both accessible and interesting to non-scientists.
Walter Sullivan, the renowned science writer for The New York Times and namesake of this award, was the first honoree in 1989. In 2000, the award was redefined to honor science feature writing: work prepared with a deadline of more than one week.
AGU is proud to recognize our honorees. Recipients of the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism – Features will receive the following benefits during the award presentation year:
AGU membership is not required for nominators or nominees of the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Journalism – Features. A person or group may be nominated or may self-nominate for both the Perlman and Sullivan awards in one year, but no individual or group is permitted to win both awards in the same year. Self-nominations are accepted. Nominees should:
The Sullivan Award recognizes excellence in writing and reporting a feature that:
The selection committee will also consider accuracy, initiative, originality, and clarity.
A person or group may be nominated or may self-nominate for both the Perlman and Sullivan awards in one year, but no individual or group is permitted to win both awards in the same year.
Eligible feature stories must be about one or more of the scientific disciplines represented by AGU.
The nomination cycle for 2020 AGU journalism awards is now open until 15 March.
Nominations should be submitted through our online submission system.
We encourage you to read our guide on how to submit a successful nomination. Recipients are chosen by the Sullivan Award Committee.
Most nominations are submitted by the author(s) of the entry. However, if you are not the nominee, AGU will contact the nominee(s) to ask if the nomination should move forward and to request any additional materials that may be needed.
Eligible entries must have been first published between 1 January and 31 December of the year prior to the award year. Articles published by 31 December of the year two years prior to the award year (e.g. by 31 December 2018 for 2020) but dated 1 January of the year prior to the award year or later (e.g. dated 1 January 2019 or later) may be submitted for the award, if they were not submitted for the previous year’s award (e.g. were not submitted for the 2019 award).
Eligible entries for the Sullivan Award must have been intended for, and available to, the general public.
Entries must be in English (or include an English translation).
A nominee may submit only one entry for the award in a given year.
Nominators are welcome to submit up to three parts of a multi-part series, or any individual parts. The selection committee will evaluate all submitted parts of a series collectively as one submission.
If each segment of a series was identified at the time of publication as being part of the series, the series is eligible to be judged as one entry. However, no more than three segments of any series may be submitted for judging. While coverage of an ongoing activity, such as a scientific society meeting or a natural event, may be regarded as a series for the Perlman Award, such coverage is not regarded as a series eligible for the Sullivan Award.
Year of honor
Stephen S. Hall
Jim Lebans, Jim Handman, Bob McDonald, and Zerah Lurie
Kenneth R. Weiss and Usha Lee McFarling
Diane C. Tennant
Robert Lee Hotz
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