Friday, May 10, 2013
By Marian Nardozzi
Pittcon® offers many different award ceremonies for outstanding scientific achievement to members of the scientific community; however, there is only one award for innovations in instrumentation. The prestigious Pittcon Editors’ Awards are becoming more and more popular each year as exhibiting companies vie for the Gold, Silver, or Bronze. These independent awards, which represent the results of an informal poll of leading editors in the industry, have become an important feature of Pittcon, the world’s largest annual conference and exposition for laboratory science.
Pittcon organizers and onsite press room staff totally support this endeavor by providing the venue and promotion for the awards, but have no involvement in the actual process. The entire process, from nominations and voting to the award selections, are completely run by the journalists. Instrument News Editorial Board Member Eileen Skelley Frame observed that she gets pleasure out of finding new equipment—“When you see it, you know it!”
The Editors’ Awards, established in 1996 by Dr. Gordon Wilkinson, Managing Editor of Analytical Instrument Industry Report (later Instrumenta), were established because of the challenge that journalists faced to effectively cover the exposition given the enormity of the event. The journalists believed they could do a better job of covering Pittcon by working collectively than by trying to do it all individually. This initiative would also prove to give the press a cohesive voice and enhance the relationship between the media and exhibiting companies. The awards are not funded by any organization; the expenses, such as the cost of the plaques which were originally designed by Gordon Wilkinson, are covered by the judging editors.