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News Release 07-054

NSF Wins Blue Pencil, Gold Screen Awards for Science Communications

Agency is the toast of page and screen at awards ceremony for government communicators

Three people, with one in center holding an award

Peter West of NSF's Office of Legislative and Public Affairs accepts a Gold Screen Award.

May 9, 2007

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation (NSF) earned multiple honors in the 2007 Blue Pencil and Gold Screen Awards competition held by the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC) to recognize the government's best in print, video and multimedia communications. NSF took home six awards, including two first-place honors.

NAGC is a national organization for communications professionals at the national, state and local levels of government. Group members include editors, writers, graphic artists, video professionals, broadcasters, photographers, information specialists and agency spokespersons.

Blue Pencil Awards honor outstanding writing and print materials while Gold Screen Awards are given to recognize excellence in Web, audio, video and other multimedia.

"The Secret Lives of Wild Animals," a special report created for the NSF Web site, won first place in the Gold Screen category for electronic publications. The Web site uses video and interactive features to tell the stories of researchers employing new technologies to gain unprecedented access to study the behavior of animals in the wild. A second NSF special report, this one providing a virtual tour of the new high-tech U.S. South Pole Station in Antarctica, received an award of excellence in the same category.

NSF picked up another Gold Screen Award in the category of best use of animation, for "A Galactic Cataclysm." The animated clip--depicting star formation and based on research by astronomers using the Antarctic Submillimeter Telescope and Remote Observatory--took second place.

"The Discovery Files," a series of one-minute radio spots and podcasts covering research supported by NSF, garnered an award of excellence in the audio PSA/program category.

NSF's illustrated news story on the outbreak of an infectious disease and its devastating impact on frog populations in central Panama won first place in the Blue Pencil category for news releases.

And, NSF's "FY 2005 Performance Highlights" report was selected for a Blue Pencil award of excellence in the annual reports category.

"We're extremely gratified with this recognition from our peers and with the growing public response to our communications activities," NSF Legislative and Public Affairs Director Jeff Nesbit said. "As an agency and as communicators, we're working hard to share with the public the exciting and important efforts taking place on the frontiers of discovery. These awards are evidence that we're on the right track."

The award winners were honored at a ceremony on April 26 in Oak Brook, Ill. More information about the NAGC awards, including a complete list of winners, is available at


Media Contacts
Ellen Y. Weir, NSF, (703) 292-7760, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2023 budget of $9.5 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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