Dissemination of Behavior Analysis

Special Interest Group (DBA-SIG)

B.F. Skinner Journalism Award (SJA)

2015 Skinner Journalism Award Winners

For Immediate Release: 24 May 2015 Contact: Chelsea J. Wilhite,

Email: [email protected] Skinner Journalism Award, Dissemination of Behavior Analysis, ABAI

San Antonio, TX – The Dissemination of Behavior Analysis group, an organization within the Association for Behavior Analysis International, is proud to announce the winners of the 2015 Skinner Journalism Award.

First Place: Phil DeMuth for "How B.F. Skinner Will Save Online Education" published in October 2014 on Forbes.com. Second Place: Lee Hulbert-Williams for "Why Thoughts Aren’t Causes" published in May 2014 on leehw.com.

The BF Skinner Journalism Award was created in 2009 with the goal of encouraging journalists and authors to write books and articles on the natural science approach to behavior that are targeted at the general population. For the calendar year of 2014, we have two winners, both of whom demonstrate an understanding of important aspects of the philosophy and application of the science of behavior and the ability to communicate that information to a lay-audience.

The Skinner Journalism Award committee and judges are honored to award the 2014, first-place prize to Phil DeMuth. DeMuth’s article on Forbes.com, “How B.F. Skinner Will Save Online Education” looks at how behavior analysis can address problematic issues in today’s education. Judges commended DeMuth’s article for being “brilliant” and “to the point.” Congratulations to Phil DeMuth, winner of the 2015 BF Skinner Journalism Award.

In second place, The Skinner Journalism Award Committee would like to recognize Lee Hulbert-Williams for the article "Why Thoughts Aren’t Causes," published on leehw.com.

We are currently accepting nominations for the 2016 award cycle. The award is intended to encourage media personnel to write about behavioral principles hence nominees must be journalists or freelance writers/producers – not behavior analysts. The nominated piece must be written in English, be appropriate for general readers, and be published for the first time during 2015. It can be an article, series of articles, or a book.

The B. F. Skinner Journalism Award is sponsored by the Dissemination of Behavior Analysis (DBA) group, an organization within the Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI).  The award was created in 2009 to recognize writings by journalists and science writers on behavioral research and applications done from the natural science perspective developed by B. F. Skinner. The Award committee is composed of members of the DBA, and the Award judges are recognized experts in behavior analysis. The committee would like to thank the 2015 award cycle judges: Jonathan Tarbox, Janet Twyman, and Criss Wilhite. There can be up to three winners in a given year. The award can, at the discretion of the judges, include a monetary prize of up to $500. Nominations for the 2016 award should be sent to [email protected]. Additional information about the award is available at http://aboutbehavior.webs.com/skinnerjournalismaward.htm.

History of the SJA

The BF Skinner Journalism Award was created in 2009 with the goal of encouraging journalists and authors to write books and articles on the natural science approach to behavior which are targeted at the general population.  For the calendar year of 2011, we have two winners, both of whom demonstrate an understanding of behavior-based research and the ability to communicate that information to a lay-audience.


In second place, Robert Wright's article "Beyond Intellectualism," published in The American Prospect, was commended for its easy-to-understand description of a Skinnerian approach to verbal behavior, or as Wright puts it, the "mind-body problem."  One award judge described the article as ?one of the very few that I have ever seen written by a non-behavior analyst that "accurately represents the science in simple language." The BF Skinner Journalism Award committee and judges would like to recognize Wright for his outstanding work.


And the BF Skinner committee and award judges are honored to award the 2011, first-place prize to David H. Freedman.  Freedman's article in Scientific American, "How to Fix the Obesity Crisis," looks at how a behavior-based approach to the growing problem of obesity may help in curbing its undesirable effects.  It was commended by the judges as an exciting roll out of the validity and value of behavior analysis, and scholarly, very readable, and highly consistent with what we know from behavior science.  Congratulations to David H. Freedman, winner of the 2011 BF Skinner Journalism Award. Read David's 2012 piece, The Perfected Self.