Council for the Advancement of Science Writing

CASW Fellow David Perlman honored with AGU Presidential Citation

David Perlman, CASW Fellow and past president of the Council, has been awarded the 2019 Presidential Citation for Science and Society from the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

Perlman, long considered the dean of science journalism and an inspiration for all who have followed him into the trade, was a reporter and science editor at the San Francisco Chronicle for nearly 70 years before taking "early retirement" at the age of 98. In 2000, AGU created the David Perlman Award for Excellence in Science Journalism - News. Perlman had earlier won the AGU's Robert C. Cowen Award for Sustained Achievement in Science Journalism. More recently, U.S. science writers gathered more than $40,000 in personal donations to create the David Perlman Travel Fellowships to bring international colleagues to the 2017 World Conference of Science Journalists in San Francisco.

In announcing the citation, AGU Executive Director/Chief Executive Officer Chris McEntee said,“It is fitting that, in a year when both AGU and David are 100, we recognize David for helping to promote relevance and importance of the Earth and space sciences throughout his extraordinary career. TThe Presidential Citation for Science and Society celebrates David’s stellar work but also the role he has played in mentoring and inspiring generations of science journalists.”

Then-CASW President Cristine Russell interviewed Perlman in 2009 to capture his advice for aspiring science journalists. He served as CASW's seventh president 1976-80 and was named the first CASW Fellow on his retirement from the Council in 2011. He is also a past president of the National Association of Science Writers.


Photograph by Katy Perlman.