In articles so rich in analogies, metaphors and evocative images that one editor likened them to poetry, Stuart F. Brown has helped make chemistry, biotechnology and other scientific topics understandable and exciting for millions of readers. In recognition of those achievements, the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society, has selected Brown as winner of its 2007 James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public.
The award was established in 1955 and consists of $3,000, a gold medallion and a bronze replica. Sometimes termed the “Pulitzer Prize of science writing,” Grady-Stack awards have gone to some great pioneers and brightest new talent in science writing.
“Few writers are as good as Brown at what might be called the poetry of objects,” Peter Petre, senior editor-at-large at Fortune, said. “In all of his stories, he combines passionate curiosity with the kind of diligence and precision that earn the respect and trust of the scientists and technologists he interviews.”
The award citation praises Brown’s work in describing, explaining and conveying the excitement of large-scale biotechnology manufacturing processes to a general audience.
“Mr. Brown has an amazing grasp of recent advances in molecular genetics, microbiology and biochemistry,” says Marie-Alda Gilles-Gonzalez, Ph.D., a biochemistry professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “Mr. Brown has a gift for communicating the importance and wonder of new technology in a language that is accurate, picturesque, entertaining and clear to a wide audience.”
Brown was with Fortune from December 1997 until August 2006, when he left to pursue a career in freelance writing in Irvington, N.Y. Brown previously worked for 12 years as a writer and editor for Popular Science, where he covered aviation, space, military hardware, manufacturing technology and transportation. He holds a BA degree from Bard College in New York State.
The Grady-Stack award is named after two former managers of the ACS News Service. It recognizes, encourages and stimulates outstanding reporting that promotes the public’s understanding of chemistry, chemical engineering and related fields. Brown will receive the award in March at the American Chemical Society’s National Meeting in Chicago.
NOTE TO REPORTERS ONLY:
The American Chemical Society is now accepting nominations for the 2009 James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public. Anyone can nominate an individual for the Grady-Stack Award. All nominees must have made noteworthy presentations — through a medium of public communication — that increase the American public's understanding of chemistry and chemical progress. This information should have been disseminated through the press, radio, television, films, the lecture platform, books or pamphlets for the lay public. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 1, 2007.
For more information on this award, including the names of all past winners, and nomination procedures, visit the following link: