For a few weeks now, I’ve been cryptically hinting at some good news and I can finally reveal what it is: I’ve won one of the 2010 National Academies Communication Awards. These awards are jointly presented by the National Academy of Sciences, National Academy of Engineering, and Institute of Medicine. They consist for four $20,000 prizes (seriously) for “creative, original works that address issues and advances in science, engineering and/or medicine for the general public”, in the categories of book; magazine/newspaper; broadcast; and online. I won the online category for this blog (press release here). I’m incredibly honoured, rather blown away and very humbled. Past winners have included Carl Zimmer, Neil Shubin, Andy Revkin and Steven Johnson, and I assume competition is fierce. I also regard this as a decent victory for science blogs as a medium. Over the last year, I seem to have been stuck in a strange Groundhog Day where I’m destined to recursively defend the idea that blogs can be a worthy avenue for science journalism and communication. The fact that blogs can win competitions like this will, I hope, do good things for the medium’s credibility. So, thanks to the judges and congratulations to the other winners. I’ll be picking up the prize at the awards ceremony in Washington D.C. next Friday, which I’m especially looking forward to because my wife gets to join me. For all the support that she provides, it’s only fitting. These, by the way, are the six pieces that I entered for the competition (yes, it includes the duck sex post. Next year’s goal is to get knighted for the one about masturbating squirrels).