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Pallava Bagla gets US science journalism award

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

world Updated: Dec 18, 2010 10:01 IST

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

Bagla, who is NDTV's science editor, was presented the award comprising a plaque and a $2,000 stipend at a gala event in San Francisco during AGU's annual meeting on Thursday.

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

Bagla won the award for articles addressing "a very serious issue in the earth sciences," according to AGU's Perlman Award selection committee.

"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, explore 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 global warming 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