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ROBERT C. COWEN AWARD COMMITTEE

Committee members

Name

Institution

Committee Role

Simon Redfern

University of Cambridge

Committee Chair

Carolyn Gramling

Science News

Member

Meenakashi Wadhwa

Arizona State University

Member

Paul Williams

University of Reading

Member

Nanci Bompey

AGU

Staff Partner; Assistant Director, Public Information


Committee overview and charge

Named for a longtime, now retired, science editor of The Christian Science Monitor, the Robert C. Cowen Award for Sustained Achievement in Science Journalism recognizes a journalist or team of journalists who have made significant, lasting, and consistent contributions to accurate reporting on the Earth and space sciences for the general public. Cowen Awardees are honored for high-quality work spanning a period of more than 15 years. The award is presented no more than every two years.

Committee members are charged with the following duties. 

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  • 1
    Select the recipient of the Cowen Award; the final decision is subject for approval of the Council Leadership Team.
  • 2
  • 3
    Interpret the scope of the award broadly and keep in mind that as a Union award, it should reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the Earth and space sciences.
  • 4
    Promote excellence and transparency and allow broad input and recognition beyond disciplinary awards.
  • 5
    Promote diversity and commitment to equity to ensure that the awards are sufficiently representative of underrepresented groups.
  • 6
    State, as part of the award recommendation to the Council Leadership Team, the number of candidates considered, how many candidates were holdovers, how many candidates are new, and whether the new candidates were nominations from general call or were actively encouraged by the committee.
  • 7
    Define the process used for reaching the decision and remain cognizant of the variety of media by which science journalism is done and ensure equal consideration is given to all forms.
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Work Plan

Please note: The Cowen Award is awarded every other year and will not be offered in 2018. In addition to selecting Cowen awardees, committee members:

  • Review the history and all aspects of the Cowen Award and the award’s relationship to AGU’s other journalism awards and its relevance to goals of the AGU’s strategic plan.
  • Develop specific and detailed recommendations and a timeline for the AGU Honors and Recognition committee for restructuring the award, its criteria, procedures and forms of recognition.
  • Interpret the scope of the award broadly and keep in mind that as a Union award, it should reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the Earth and space sciences.
  • Participate in training and orientations conducted by the Honors and Recognition committee to be fully informed of policies, processes and program elements.

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