From the Nominator
"Wake Forest alumnus and botanist Frank Telewski became a keeper of secrets for one of the world's oldest scientific experiments. He knows where a time capsule of bottles filled with seeds was buried at Michigan State University more than 140 years ago to measure how long seeds can lie dormant underground and still germinate. Scientists at MSU dig up a bottle every 20 years to unlock the mysteries of the seeds. Telewski inherited the oversight (and secret map) of this buried treasure and participated in the most recent dig.
Senior Editor Kerry M. King's story not only mines the historical story of how this experiment began and its 19th-century creator, he also digs into the life history of an alumnus whose fascination with trees and gardens has guided his work and his life from an early age. King interviewed Telewski multiple times on Zoom, visited the campus for a tour with him, talked with half a dozen classmates and colleagues and spent untold hours on historical and scientific research to produce a story that perfectly led our Nature issue of spring 2022."
From the Judges
“Unearthing Time in a Bottle” received high praise from the judges panel for its engaging storytelling, intriguing subject matter, and effective use of organization and transitions. The author's mix of personal anecdotes and historical context added depth and interest to the story, and the section headings helped guide the reader through the piece. The opening was particularly strong, and the writing sustained the reader's interest throughout the length of the article. Overall, this was a great read and a well-deserved nomination.