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Dennis Overbye Wins Schramm Science Journalism Award

Press Release From: American Astronomical Society
Posted: Thursday, September 8, 2011

Dennis Overbye from the New York Times has been awarded the 2011 David N. Schramm award from the High Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS).

The purpose of the Schramm Award is to recognize and stimulate distinguished writing on high-energy astrophysics in order to improve the general public's understanding and appreciation of this exciting field of research.

Overbye's winning piece, entitled "A Costly Quest for the Heart of the Dark Cosmos," appeared on the front page of the newspaper on November 17, 2010. The story chronicles the journey of the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer and its leader Sam Ting through a long and winding budgetary and political process.

"I am especially pleased about this award because I knew David Schramm for a long time and I greatly admired and liked him," said Overbye. "I learned a lot from him, both about the universe and the Big Bang, and most importantly about life."

The award consists of a prize of $1,500 and a plaque containing a citation. The publisher of the winning work will receive a certificate honoring the publication in which the work appeared. The award is sponsored by HEAD/AAS, which pays the winning author's personal travel expenses so that the award can be received in person at the next HEAD meeting, which is being held this week (September 7-10, 2011) in Newport, Rhode Island.

David Schramm was a distinguished scientist who is widely regarded as the founder of the field of particle astrophysics, a discipline where cosmology and particle physics meet. High-energy astrophysics incorporates experimental and theoretical studies of high-energy photons and particles from the cosmos, including the disciplines of X-ray, gamma-ray, and cosmic-ray astronomy.

More about the 2011 HEAD meeting: http://www.confcon.com/head2011

More about the Schramm award: http://www.aas.org/head/schramm/schramm.prize.html

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