The American Association for the Advancement of Science has announced the winners of its 2008 science journalism awards, and former Express staff writer Kara Platoni has won the small newspaper category for her 2007 series, “In Search of Life,” about local scientists’ quest to find out if we’re alone in the universe. Judges said things like, “Ms. Platoni took maximum advantage of the strong local presence of the institutions and scientists who could best tell the story,” and “[Platoni] did a marvelous job of bringing the faraway questions surrounding astrobiology down to Earth and particularly important to the readers in her region.” Platoni’s fellow winners (and believe me, it’s a short list) include the Los Angeles Times, BusinessWeek, and the WBGH program NOVA. Congrats all around, you big nerd, you! To read Platoni’s superlative work, click here and here.