David Schramm Award to Writer Oliver Morton for Article on High-energy Neutrinos

Press Release From: Goddard Space Flight Center
Posted: Tuesday, August 10, 2004

Oliver Morton wins the fourth edition of the David N. Schramm award for an article describing the appeal and pitfalls of high-energy neutrino science. The article "Moonshine and Glue" was published in the spring 2004 issue of "The American Scholar".

The David N. Schramm award is offered by the High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the American Astronomical Society. The author will receive the $1,500 cash prize and travel expenses to the HEAD scientific meeting in New Orleans (Louisiana) at the beginning of September. He will also be presented a plaque and, for the publisher of the article, a certificate honoring his work.

"Moonshine and Glue" describes the difficulties of hunting for high-energy neutrinos. It tackles the science in a thorough but clear way. The article also conveys magnificently the nature of scientific endeavor.

"How wonderful!" said Morton by e-mail when told of the news. "The fact that it's his [David Schramm's] award adds a lot; he was always very generous to me, and I believe other journalists."

Morton is a contributing editor at Wired and his writing has also appeared in The New Yorker, National Geographic, Newsweek International, Discover, The American Scholar, The New York Times, The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Wall Street Journal Europe, Science, Nature, New Scientist and Prospect, where he is a member of the advisory board.

Morton is also the author of "Mapping Mars: Science, Imagination and the Birth of a World " (2002) and one of the authors of the upcoming "Safe", a book on technology and terrorism to be published by HarperCollins in 2005. His blog called "MainlyMartian" and featuring his observations on "the great desert in the sky" can be found at

The HEAD journalism award is named in memory of David N. Schramm of the University of Chicago, a world leader in theoretical astrophysics and a leading authority on the Big Bang model of the formation of the universe. He was killed in 1997 when the twin-engine plane he was piloting crashed outside of Denver. David Schramm was dedicated to public outreach, and the newly created writing award that bears his name recognizes distinguished writing on high energy astrophysics that improves the general public's understanding in and appreciation of this exciting field of research.

The American Scholar is the literary and intellectual quarterly of the Phi Beta Kappa Society. The journal has won three National Magazine Awards, one for Feature Writing, one for Essays, and one for General Excellence among magazines with circulations under 100,000.

HEAD presents the Schramm award every 18 months at its division meetings. Entries are judged by a committee of distinguished scientists and journalists selected by the HEAD Executive Committee. Information about the prize is available at

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