Elevating World-Class Environmental Science
As we face global threats to our environment—from the loss of biodiversity, to climate change, to increasing water scarcity—much of the public dialogue around our environment is driven by politics and hyperbole. Too often the science that should be informing policy is lost in the shuffle.
For more than 40 years, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement has been recognizing leaders, researchers and experts for their work in improving our understanding of environmental problems and developing solutions to help ensure a healthy planet.
In partnership with new Tyler Prize Laureates, we craft narratives about these experts and the impact of their work on our scientific understanding and policies. With each year’s winners, we have opportunities to tell new stories, including what we can learn from the nematodes living in the Dry Valleys of Antarctica, the dangers of household air pollution from indoor fires for cooking in the developing world, and lessons from nature that can inform everything from how we address complex global problems to economics. We work closely with the Laureates to develop key messages about their work and why it matters so that we can engage journalists to cover these vital stories.
On the 40th anniversary of the Tyler Prize, Burness worked with the executive committee to create a high-profile event in Washington, DC, that attracted hundreds of environmental experts, advocates and media. Burness organized a panel on the future of conservation and sustainability moderated by MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow and featuring John Holdren, the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy; Mario Molina, Nobel Prize winner and director of the Mario Molina Center for Energy and Environment; Thomas Lovejoy, senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation and environmental professor at George Mason University; and Richard Alley, environmental professor at Pennsylvania State University.
Results and Impact
Over the years, we’ve placed many stories about the prize and laureates in the New York Times, Science, Nature, BBC, Voice of America, Los Angeles Times, NPR, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and MSNBC. Additionally, we have secured online conversations for top environmental blogs, and placed op-eds, commentaries and letters-to-the-editor in a number of publications, including the New York Times, CNN and Scientific American, among others.