Tsunamis, rovers, scientists and sea level take top AAAS video journalism awards

The winners of this year’s AAAS Kavli science journalism awards were announced today, which included four awards for stand-out science video. And the winners are (drum roll please!)…


“Going Up: Sea Level Rise in San Francisco Bay” KQED QUEST/Climate Watch (San Francisco)

A look at what climate change means for the San Francisco Bay Area. Somehow making climate change local makes it real. An artfully-produced piece with beautiful cinematography and flawless editing. The only place I ‘glazed’ was the section about government agencies that manage coastlines around the Bay Area. This obviously isn’t of much interest to those of us that live elsewhere, but then again, we aren’t the target audience.


“Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers” PBS NOVA Online

Each profile features a fun little peek into the scientist’s personality, a ten-question Q & A, an explanation of their work and an thirty-second ‘elevator speech’. This formula works perfectly for the web because the viewer can choose how much they want to watch.

These profiles in particular clinched the award:

Jean Berko Gleason: Psycholinguist

Andre Fenton: Neurobiologist

 Steffie Tomson: Synesthesia Researcher

IN-DEPTH REPORTING (an umbrella category that covers anything over 20 minutes)

“Death of a Mars Rover” National Geographic Channel

Based on the synopsis in the AAAS press release this sounds like the plot line to the Disney movie WALL-E transposed onto a Mars mission. But that’s about all the info I can find on it. The doc doesn’t turn up in search, it’s not listed in IMBD, nor is it available on Netflix. It might be very good, but I guess those of us without a subscription to National Geographic Channel will never know.

“Japan’s Killer Quake” WGBH/NOVA

I missed this when it aired but remember being amazed when I saw the promos for it running only two weeks after the tsunami hit Japan last spring. The team at NOVA must have put it into high gear to pull this together in such a short time frame.  Fortunately, the entire episode is available on-line (as are all NOVA episodes–go public broadcasting!)

Congratulations to all of this year’s winners and here’s to hoping I’ll see my name somewhere on that list in years to come.

Image via iStockphoto.com

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