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Indian scribe wins American Geophysical Union Award

world Updated: Sep 01, 2010 02:37 IST

IANS
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India's Pallava Bagla has won the American Geophysical Union (AGU) David Perlman Award for Excellence in Science Journalism for his articles on the impact of climate change on the Himalayan glaciers.

The Perlman Award of AGU, the largest organisation of earth and space scientists, with more than 58,000 members worldwide, recognises work published with deadline pressure of one week or less.

Announcing the award for Bagla, NDTV's science editor, AGU's Perlman Award selection committee applauded "Bagla's articles for addressing "a very serious issue in the earth sciences".

"His articles serve as a reminder to journalists to question sources, to think harder about the agendas and ideas of those people about whom they are reporting, and to stop the steamroller of opinions or ideas when the facts just don't back them up."

"Although Bagla's articles reveal embarrassing foibles of scientists, ultimately they also illustrate science's ability to self-correct," it said.

The first of his two articles "No Sign of Himalayan Melt Down, Indian Report Finds", published in the journal Science, explores dissent among glaciologists regarding the claim by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)
that Himalayan glaciers would imminently disappear.

The second article, "Himalayan Glacier Deadline 'Wrong'", published by BBC News, reports on an apparent typographical error in the IPCC claim which appears to explain the panel's controversial, 300-year acceleration of when Himalayan glaciers are expected to vanish.

Bagla is also an author. His latest book is "Destination Moon: India's Quest for Moon, Mars and Beyond". He also freelances stories to BBC and other media outlets, and contributes photographs to Corbis images.