Emily Fischer to receive Jon C. Graff, Ph.D. Prize for Excellence in Science Communication

Emily Fischer Science News graphic

Emily Fischer, associate professor in the Department of Atmospheric Science and a Colorado State University Monfort Professor, has received the Jon C. Graff, Ph.D. Prize for Excellence in Science Communication from the Society for Science.

The Society for Science is a nonprofit organization that promotes the understanding and appreciation of science and the vital role it plays in human advancement.

Now in its third year, the award is given to one scientist included in the Science News SN 10, a list spotlighting 10 early- and mid-career scientists on their way to widespread acclaim. The Society for Science publishes both Science News and Science News for Students.

In 2021, rather than identify new scientists, Science News spotlighted 10 noteworthy SN 10 alumni. Fischer, who was included in the 2020 SN 10 list, was featured in the Oct. 9 special edition of Science News and will be featured again in the Oct. 23 edition.

An atmospheric chemist, Fischer uses field-based and applied modeling approaches to investigate the sources of atmospheric trace gases. Her work aims to improve the understanding of the role of climate in determining the atmosphere’s self-cleansing capacity. In the summer of 2018, Fischer led a multi-institutional team that flew into western wildfire smoke to analyze its composition in the largest research campaign of its kind to date.

Previous honors for Fischer

Fischer has received several honors for her teaching and research, including the 2019 James B. Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union, “given annually to three to five early career scientists in recognition of their significant contributions to Earth and space science,” and the American Meteorological Society Atmospheric Chemistry Committee Outstanding Early Career Scientist Award.

The five-member Graff Prize selection committee chose Fischer because she uses a variety of media tools to communicate her research findings to fellow academics and to the public. They also cited her participation in “Science Moms,” a national campaign that brings together climate scientists who are also mothers “to demystify climate science and motivate everyday moms to demand solutions that preserve the planet for their kids.”

In choosing a winner of the Graff Prize, the selection committee considered the scientists’ ability to communicate the long-term value of their work for society, something donor Jon C. Graff, Ph.D., prized in a science communicator. A Science News reader since 1974, Graff was a pioneer in digital cryptography. He passed away in January 2021.