Living the Scientific Life (Scientist, Interrupted)

Update: Antarctic Vote Count

The current Antarctic Trip Vote count is as follows; 3299 – 1318 – 1264 – 1231 – 1192 out of 402 candidates registered. YIKES! I am now in fourth place! Obviously, I need your votes more than ever to recapture first place, so please ask your friends and relatives to vote for me now!

If you’ve already voted, then please encourage your family, friends, colleagues and neighbors to vote for the person whom you think would be best for this unique job: traveling to Antarctica for the month of February 2010 and writing about it for the public on a blog. Here is my 300-word essay; hopefully, you will agree that I am a very well-qualified candidate for this job opportunity. Voting ends at noon EDT 30 September and there is one vote allowed per valid email address (registration required).

Details: Quark Expeditions is searching for an Official Blogger to join a voyage to Antarctica. Their goals, according to an email I received recently from their official spokesperson, Prisca, are to have their official blogger write a daily blog entry in English about his or her experience on this Antarctic trip, and to help raise public awareness of the environmental and conservation issues that pertain to the Antarctic. To select their official blogger, they are asking candidates to enter a competition where the public votes for whom they think would do the best job.

I am a wonderful candidate for this job as the official blogger for Quark Expeditions because I have been a prolific writer of a science and nature blog for five years, I have earned essential scientific training and background as well as having taught all age groups from children through adults, I have always strongly supported environmental and conservation objectives, and I possess intellectual curiosity combined with a sense of wonder.

Perhaps most important of these stated job requirements is writing ability. I have proven that I write consistently and well because I am one of just a few blog writers whose contributions have appeared in every edition of the Open Laboratory [2006, 2007 & 2008], which is a print collection of the finest science, medicine and natural history writing published in the blogosphere; I am also a published writer and additionally, my blog platform here at ScienceBlogs provides tremendous international reach, unwavering public support by my fellow blog writing colleagues, and strong technical support among the ScienceBlogs staff as well as from its parent company, Seed Media Group. Furthermore, a trip like this would be an amazing way for me to thank all of you, dear readers, for supporting me throughout these past difficult years.

I’ve posted a picture and written a 300 word essay and my entry is public. To vote, go there and register your email address (and create a different password from that used for your email). Then, within a few seconds to an hour or so, you will receive a confirmatory message at your registered email address so you can then vote in this competition. Remember, according to the rules, there is “one vote per valid email address” and no more than two votes per individual. So after you’ve voted, be sure to ask everyone you know to vote for me, too. If you’ve had troubles registering your email address, please contact me (so I know of your troubles) and Quark Expedition’s marketing manager, Prisca Campbell, who will then register your email address by hand, as she’s already done for several of my readers.

Voting ends at noon EDT on 30 September 2009, and the Official Quark Blogger will travel to Antarctica in February 2010 to blog about the experience, chronicling the action, the emotion, and the drama as this polar adventure unfolds.


  1. #1 John Callender
    July 29, 2009

    Meh. I would bet money that the current leaders are simply manufacturing votes for themselves. You can engage in the same thing, or accept that you’re not going to win a competition that appears to have been designed to produce exactly that sort of behavior.

    As I mentioned in a previous comment, if you _do_ decide to game the system by manufacturing votes for yourself, the tricky thing is going to be figuring out how many to cast for yourself when. You want to be in the lead, and by a sufficient margin that you can’t be overcome at the last minute by people “sniping” the contest with lots of last-minute votes. This is made more complicated by the fact that as it gets down to the wire there will be a huge surge of votes from all the people employing that same strategy, raising the risk that the contest might effectively end early due to 1) their server being overwhelmed by automated submissions, and becoming inaccessible, or 2) the organizers’ recognizing that the “contest” has degenerated into farce, and ending it early themselves.

  2. #2 John Callender
    July 29, 2009

    Oh, hey, I didn’t notice before (either because I just missed it or because it was added in a subsequent update) that the official rules _do_ say a contestant can be disqualified for “the creation of multiple email addresses for the purpose of voting”. So, as Emily Litella would say, “Never mind.” 🙂

    So I think that means you should stick with the strategy of just encouraging valid email votes, and hope that everyone ahead of you gets disqualified for stuffing the ballot box (though it’s not clear what standards of evidence the organizers are going to use to determine that).

    Good luck!

  3. #3 "GrrlScientist"
    July 29, 2009

    it is still possible to game the system by stuffing the ballot box, but on the other hand, it can also look like individual contestants are gaming the system when they aren’t. i have no idea how Quark Expeditions will differentiate between these two possibilities, though. the best i can do is ask for votes, until i (and likely, all my readers) are absolutely blue in the face. indeed, i am already deeply indebted to my readers for tolerating this long disruption in my usual blog writing activities, and hope they’ll forgive me for it after this competition is over.

  4. #4 Andre
    July 29, 2009

    Simple idea:
    why should the individual contestants that are ahead of you forging votes??
    Couldn’t they just have more support from their own communities?
    Fair play is important in life, and shows even more in some circumstances…when we are loosing…
    As far as I could see the other 3 contestants really have strong points and I doubt that they are happy with your statements…

  5. #5 "GrrlScientist"
    July 30, 2009

    simple response: what the hell are you blathering on about?

  6. #6 Fontinhas
    August 19, 2009

    even simpler response: QQ more

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