Environmental Factor Editor-in-Chief Kelly Lenox was honored with a 2020 Blue Pencil and Gold Screen Award from the National Association of Government Communicators (NAGC). Lenox won second place in the Writer’s Portfolio category for a series of newsletter articles that highlight environmental health. This NAGC award is the third in four years for the Environmental Factor (see sidebar).
Articles published between July 1, 2018 and Dec. 31, 2019 were eligible for the 2020 awards. Categories spanned the work of public communications offices, representing products such as those listed below:
- News release.
- Mobile advertising.
- Social media outreach.
Each category named first place, second place, and award of excellence. Best in show is selected each year from all first place winners.
“We put a lot of effort into explaining the science without dumbing it down, and the judges liked that,” Lenox said. “I hope this award will help more readers discover the latest on environmental health research and related news.”
She noted that the newsletter reaches scientists, public health professionals, policymakers, members of advocacy groups, and the general public. About 25% of the newsletter’s readership is international, a testament to the publication’s reach.
Stories reflect NIEHS Strategic Plan
Lenox said she chose five articles that reflected the NIEHS 2018-2023 Strategic Plan’s Theme Two: Promoting Translation — Data to Knowledge to Action. Two stories described working with decisionmakers. Another article recounted how experts collaborated to advance science. The last two stories explained environmental health research.
Together, the collection supports Theme Two, which “reflects the translational cascade from research results into a collective body of knowledge that ultimately informs and supports public health action."
"The Environmental Factor brings a lot of visibility to NIEHS and its important work," said Christine Flowers, director of the NIEHS Office of Communications and Public Liaison. "Kelly’s excellent writing skills and her management of the newsletter are huge assets for our office."
The winning articles
A team of at least two judges chosen by the NAGC awards committee score the entries on criteria such as writing, editing, content, design, and more.
Lenox included five stories in her portfolio:
- Vaping has measurable effects on the body, unclear if safer than smoking
- Infectious disease and the environment — a two-way street
- Connecting Parkinson’s disease, pesticides, and genes
- PFAS Senate hearing, Birnbaum’s expert scientific testimony
- NIEHS preps for disaster, health research with derailment scenario