Shirley O. Corriher wins American Chemical Society’s prestigious journalism award

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PHILADELPHIA, Aug. 20, 2012 — Nationally renowned author, speaker, TV personality and all-around “ambassador of chemistry” Shirley O. Corriher has been selected as recipient of the 2013 James T. Grady-James H. Stack Award for Interpreting Chemistry for the Public.

The American Chemical Society (ACS), the world’s largest scientific society, sponsors the award, and announced the winner here this week at its 244th National Meeting & Exposition of the ACS. The meeting, which features about 8,600 reports with an anticipated attendance of 14,000 scientists and others, continues here through Thursday.

One of the oldest and most prestigious accolades in science communication, the award dates to 1955 and consists of $3,000, a gold medallion and a bronze replica of the medallion. ACS named the award for James T. Grady and James H. Stack, former managers of the ACS News Service. Publisher of the Weekly PressPac, the News Service was established in 1919, making ACS one of the first scientific societies with a dedicated function of communicating and explaining science to the public.

ACS selected Corriher for work in bringing home the power and pleasure of chemistry through her highly popular books, articles and dynamic presentations on the chemistry of cooking. For more than 30 years, Corriher has served as an unofficial “ambassador of chemistry,” delighting readers and audiences across the country.

A biochemist by training, Corriher is the author of two highly respected books: CookWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Cooking, winner of a James Beard Foundation award, and BakeWise: The Hows and Whys of Successful Baking. Cookwise is a popular “go-to” book for chemistry classes, test kitchens and home cooks across the country. Also known as a “food sleuth,” Corriher has been approached by chefs, food writers and even Julia Child to find solutions to difficult conundrums encountered in the kitchen.

She has written numerous articles for newspapers, magazines and technical journals, and has appeared many times on the television show Good Eats with Alton Brown on The Food Network. In 2001, Bon Appetit magazine named her Best Cooking Teacher of the Year. Corriher also serves on the ACS Committee on Public Relations and Communications.

“Corriher is renowned for her enthusiasm and down-home, engaging style,” said Harold McGee, Ph.D., author and columnist at the New York Times. He nominated Corriher for the award. “The Grady-Stack Award was created to reward outstanding reporting directly to the public. Shirley Corriher’s life work fits that definition perfectly and thoroughly.”

“Shirley is our invaluable ambassador for communication of chemistry — accessible, entertaining and accurate,” said Gary Beauchamp, director of the Monell Chemical Senses Center. “She is a wonderful bridge between the basic science and the practical — we need many more like her.”

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