Communications Award

Nominations for the 2024 Communications Award are being accepted through August 14.
Submit an entry here
For a list of previous medalists, scroll down.

Purpose of the Award
The Communications Award, established under the vision of ASTMH Past President Claire Panosian, MD, DTMH (London), FASTMH, recognizes excellence in tropical medicine storytelling. The goal of the award, which is selected by a Committee, is to recognize content that enhances the public's understanding and appreciation of tropical medicine research, clinical practice and/or policy. Entries are judged on scientific accuracy, initiative, originality, clarity of interpretation and value in fostering a better understanding of the field of tropical medicine by non-science audiences.

Nomination, Eligibility and Judging

  • Eligible: Articles published by a news media outlet, including newspapers, popular magazines and TV news websites, are eligible along with stories broadcast by recognized TV and radio news outlets, and documentaries produced for TV or other public distribution. (Please Note: The New York Times prohibits its reporters from entering any competition hosted by an organization "with a direct interest in the tenor of Times coverage.")
  • Not eligible: Books, studies from scientific journals, blogs, or videos on websites or YouTube.
  • Eligible works must be in English and published or released on or after July 1, 2022 through June 30, 2023.
  • Only a single article or documentary is eligible. Series will not be accepted for review; however, a single article from a series may be submitted for judging as standalone work. 
  • Nominators may submit a maximum of three nominations. 
  • ASTMH welcomes self-nominations. ASTMH members and non-members may also submit nominations. 
  • A committee consisting of at least three scientists and two professional science journalists and/or communications experts will determine the winners. The author(s) of the winning entry will be notified in September. 
  • The Committee reserves the right to recognize distinguished nominees. 
‚ÄčApplication Process
Complete the online nomination form. The form must include a PDF or Word file of print publications or an active (not password-protected) link to the nominated work. The form may be submitted by a representative of the nominator (e.g., an administrative assistant). 

Please Note: In cases where there are multiple authors for a nominated work, please list the names of all the authors in the box provided. Be sure to list the lead author first. 

Contact Doug Dusik, ASTMH Senior Manager, Communications 
[email protected] 

Past Winners

Meredith Wadman
"Small Victories: Nearly 30 years after apartheid’s demise, a reporter revisits children’s health in South Africa"
Alissa Escarce and Dil Afrose Jahan
"How Rahima came to hold a special place in smallpox history — and help ensure its end

Amy Maxmen
Inequality's Deadly Toll: A century of research has demonstrated how poverty and discrimination drive disease. Can COVID push science to finally address the issue?” 

Amy Maxmen
Exclusive: Behind the front lines of the Ebola wars” 



Martin Enserink
“On a remote Pacific island, this doctor has revived a 60-year quest to eradicate a disfiguring disease”

Lena H. Sun; photos by Melina Mara
The Washington Post
"Chasing a Killer"


William Brangham, Jon Cohen and Jason Kane
PBS NewsHour
“Why a Kenyan island may teach the world how to beat AIDS”


Warren Cornwall
"A Plague of Rats"

Kevin Sack, Sheri Fink, Pam Belluck, Adam Nossiter and Celia Dugger (editor)*
The New York Times
"How Ebola Roared Back"
*declined the award due to The New York Times policy

Leslie Roberts
"The Art of Eradicating Polio" 

Shelly Xie - for her unique sand art performance on neglected tropical disease
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center

Jason Gale
Adi Narayan
Bloomberg News
"The Scourge of the Superbugs"

Financial Times
- for overall excellence in reporting tropical medicine and hygiene news

Tina Rosenberg
National Geographic
"The Burden of Thirst"

Honorable Mention
Robert Guth
Wall Street Journal
“Gates Rethinks His War on Polio”

Donald McNeil, Jr.
New York Times
“At Front Lines, AIDS War is Falling Apart”

Vivienne Walt
Time Magazine
"Death in Birth"

Honorable Mention
Laurie Garrett
“Path of a Pandemic”
Andrew Jack
Financial Times

"Combating Malaria"
Stephanie Nolen
The Globe and Mail
“Why Are Millions Starving in a Booming India?”

Charles Piller and Doug Smith
Los Angeles Times
"Unintended Victims of Gates Foundation Generosity"

Honorable Mention
Susan Okie
New England Journal of Medicine
“A New Attack on Malaria”

Patrick Skelly
Natural History
“Sex and the Single Schistosome”

Michael Leahy
The Washington Post
“Breaking the Cycle”

Honorable Mention
Laurie Garrett
Foreign Affairs
“The Challenge of Global Health”

Martin Enserink
Science Magazine
“Welcome to Ethiopia’s Fly Factory”

Robert Poole
Smithsonian Magazine
“The Ethiopia Campaign”

Celia Dugger and Donald McNeil*
The New York Times
“On the Brink”
*declined the award per The New York Times policy

Honorable Mention
John Donnelly
The Boston Globe
“Life Stories Part 1 and 2: Outlasting AIDS in Africa”

Michael Specter
The New Yorker Magazine
“What Money Can Buy. Millions of Africans die needlessly of diseases each year. Can Bill Gates change that?”

Richard Stone
Science Magazine
“Combating the Bird Flu Menace, Down on the Farm”

Leslie Roberts
“Rotavirus Vaccines’ Second Chance”

Honorable Mention
Jennifer Bails and Luis Fabregas
Pittsburgh Tribune Review
“An Unfinished Miracle”