Nadia Drake Wins David N. Schramm Science Journalism Award

Press Release From: American Astronomical Society
Posted: Monday, April 17, 2017

Nadia Drake has been awarded the 2017 David N. Schramm award ( from the High-Energy Astrophysics Division (HEAD) of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). The winning article is entitled “Found! Gravitational Waves, or a Wrinkle in Spacetime” and appeared on National Geographic’s website on February 11, 2016.

Drake is a freelance science journalist and contributing writer at National Geographic, where she covers everything from black holes to animals in the form of news stories for the website, features for the magazine, and the astronomy blog “No Place Like Home.” She has a Ph.D. in genetics from Cornell University and a certificate in science communication from the University of California, Santa Cruz. Her work has appeared in Nature, Science News, and WIRED, among other places, and she frequently hits the road in search of stories and adventure.

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.

“It’s a real honor to receive this award -- I still can’t quite believe it,” said Drake. “High-energy astrophysics not only reveals the intricacies of the universe we inhabit, it captures imaginations in compelling and charismatic ways. I’m thrilled to be a part of that.”

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 will be held August 20-24, 2017, in Sun Valley, Idaho ( The 16th meeting of the HEAD will also be in the path of totality of this summer’s solar eclipse. Other science writers who wish to attend the meeting may receive complimentary press registration. Please contact Megan Watzke (see below) for information.

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.

The winning article for this Schramm prize can be found at

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