Announcement from National Editor Steven Ginsberg, Deputy National Editor Lori Montgomery and Health and Science Editor Laura Helmuth:

We’re thrilled to announce that Sarah Kaplan has won the Walter Sullivan Award for Excellence in Science Features, one of the most prestigious awards in science journalism.

Sarah won for her memorable story “Next stop, Mars: Inside the fierce debate over the fate of NASA’s new rover – and a chance to make history,” a collaboration with Joe Fox and Brittany Renee Mayes on graphics, Leo Ji on design, and Karly Domb Sadof on photos.

The award is named for a late New York Times science writer and given by the American Geophysical Union. According to the citation, the judges praised the story’s sense of drama, its exceptional, compelling writing and clear explanations of the underlying science. “This piece was a huge joy to read,” one judge said. “Providing the historic perspective and in particular how much of scientific decisions just depend on human characters, made it outstanding.”

Please join us in congratulating Sarah.