Michelle Trudeau wins 2004 Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Reporting


Michelle Trudeau, a correspondent for National Public Radio who has covered mental health, human behavior and brain science for more than two decades, has been awarded the 2004 Victor Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting.

The prize, for a body of work published or broadcast within the last five years, was created by the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing, an organization of distinguished journalists and scientists committed to improving the quality of science news reaching the public.

The $3,000 award will be presented to Trudeau on Nov. 8, 2004 in Fayetteville, Ark., at an awards dinner held during the council's 42nd annual New Horizons in Science news briefing for reporters.

Trudeau was recognized for stories reflecting a deep understanding of mental health and the related science and policy issues, and for her compelling storytelling. Her reports not only relayed what she learned in her reporting, but brought listeners into close contact with children and families struggling with mental illness. The judges cited, in particular, a remarkable interview with a child with bipolar disorder.

Before she began her radio career in 1981, Trudeau, a graduate of Stanford University, studied primate behavior with Jane Goodall at the Gombe Stream Research Center in Tanzania, and worked as a research associate at the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. She has been a reporter and producer for NPR's science desk since 1982. Trudeau lives in Southern California, where she is raising twins.

This year's entries were judged by Paul Raeburn, a New York City-based journalist and writer; Cristine Russell, a former Washington Post science writer, now freelancing from Connecticut; and Robert Lee Hotz, a science writer for the Los Angeles Times. Raeburn and Russell are also on the council's board.

This is the fifth presentation of the Cohn Prize for Excellence in Medical Science Reporting. The inaugural award went to Laurie Garrett of Newsday and Lawrence K. Altman of The New York Times. Subsequent recipients were Jon Palfreman, who has made more than 30 documentaries for public television, Daniel Q. Haney, the medical editor of The Associated Press, and Shannon Brownlee, a widely published magazine and newspaper journalist.

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