August 28, 2009
St. Paul, Minn. (August 28, 2009)—The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is proud to announce that Ewen Callaway, a reporter with New Scientist, is the recipient of the 2009 Plant Pathology Journalism Award. Callaway was chosen for his article, “The Green Menace,” published in the March 13, 2008, issue of Nature magazine.
In “The Green Menace,” Callaway discussed the citrus disease huanglongbing—a bacterial disease affecting the phloem system of citrus plants, causing infected trees to yellow, decline, and possibly die. The pathogen is spread by an insect (the citrus psyllid). He notes that the issue is of importance to scientists, regulators, and the public. During his research he noted that he “heard a lot of differing perspectives on agro-defense research and the bio-security issues that come with it” and, furthermore, he hoped that his article “captured the diversity of opinions on this important topic.”
In his article, Callaway describes the tension between regulators and scientists when dealing with this destructive disease which, according to his article, has “devastated the citrus industry … since it first arrived on U.S. soil in 2005.” The tension arises when classifying the disease—should it be treated as an agent of terror? And, what does this mean for farmers who must comply with the costly regulations?
Callaway, who studied plant pathology as an undergraduate, and who earned a B.S. degree in microbiology from the University of Washington, began his career as an intern at Nature magazine and Science News. There, he worked with Susan Milius, the 2007 recipient of the APS Plant Pathology Journalism Award. Since 2008, he has been working at New Scientist, covering biology, medicine, and behavioral science.
He noted that this has been a “banner year in terms of plant pathology” for him, since another paper he co-authored was recently published in the peer-reviewed European Journal of Plant Pathology.
The APS Plant Pathology Journalism Award, sponsored by the APS Office of Public Relations and Outreach (OPRO), recognizes outstanding achievement in increasing public awareness, knowledge, and understanding of plant pathology.
The American Phytopathological Society (APS) is a non-profit, professional scientific organization. The research of the organization’s more than 5,000 worldwide members advances the understanding of the science of plant pathology and its application to plant health.