Defend Science with your doodles!

On issues from drug safety to global warming, our federal government is censoring, manipulating, and distorting science at an alarming rate. You’ve spoken out against political interference in science with your emails, letters, and phone calls, but can you defend science with your doodles and win some great prizes in the process? Absolutely.

Today, the Union of Concerned Scientists, together with a panel of highly accomplished celebrity cartoonists, launches Science Idol 2007: the Scientific Integrity Editorial Cartoon Contest. We’re looking to you for creative, original, and compelling cartoons to help us communicate the impact of this abuse on our health, safety, and environment.

Grand Prize:

An all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to tour the UCS offices and have lunch with Washington Post Pulitzer prize-winning cartoonist Tom Toles, plus:

$500 cash
Cartoon printed in UCS publications and featured on the UCS website
Cartoon featured on the cover of the 2008 Scientific Integrity calendar
Fifty copies of the 2008 calendar, including one signed by all celebrity judges
Priceless promotion by the Union of Concerned Scientists

12 Finalists will receive:
Entry printed in the 2008 Scientific Integrity calendar
Entry promoted on the UCS website
Ten copies of the 2008 calendar, including one signed by all celebrity judges
Priceless promotion by the Union of Concerned Scientists

Meet your celebrity judges!

We’re pleased to announce our judges for this competition–talented, award-winning cartoonists who will be choosing the top 12 finalists:

  • Dave Coverly – Creator of the syndicated cartoon Speed Bump
  • James McLeod – Last year’s Science Idol winner
  • Tom Toles – Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist for the Washington Post
  • Garry Trudeau – Pulitzer Prize-winning creator of the syndicated cartoon Doonesbury

Entries are due by May 22, 2007. We’ve moved the contest up this year to give students a chance to participate. Educators, find a sample lesson plan here.

The Impact and Exposure

Hundreds of artists entered last year’s contest, attracting significant media attention and drawing thousands of scientists and citizens to join us in restoring scientific integrity to federal policy making. And because of the 2007 Scientific Integrity Calendar, the 12 finalist cartoons are on display nationwide, hanging in cubicles and on doors in universities, government offices, private companies, and even on Capitol Hill!

Science Idol Starts Today

We’ll be promoting this contest far and wide, but you can help spread the word. You can tell a friend about this contest, send an e-card featuring some of last year’s finalists, or download a contest flyer (pdf) you can share with friends and family or post on bulletin boards at libraries, coffee shops, and schools.

Check out the contest guidelines and start drawing. I look forward to seeing your creative submissions!


Michael Halpern
National Field Organizer
UCS Scientific Integrity Program

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