Seed and Honeywell are sponsoring a great opportunity for aspiring science writers: the Seed 2007 Science Writing Contest. All you have to do is write a 1200 word essay that answers these questions:

What does it mean to be scientifically literate in the 21st century?

How do we measure the scientific literacy of a society? How do we boost it? What is the value of this literacy? Who is responsible for fostering it?

A mere 1200 words? ‘Tis nothing. That’s the length of my usual column in Seed magazine. You can crank that out in an evening’s work, send it in, and get a shot at winning $2500 (first prize!) or $1000 (second prize!) or the eternal love and affection of scientists everywhere (third, fourth, fifth, etc., prize, and by far the most valuable!).

Best news of all: I’m not eligible! I’m sure otherwise I’d just clean up in the contest, and none of you would stand a chance…but since I’m out, I’ll double-dog-dare you all to show all of us sciencebloggers what real science writing is like. You’ve got until 1 July to teach us all the meaning of real scientific literacy, so get cracking.

The latest word from the Home Office on why this contest is restricted to only Americans: it has to do with the legal regulation and taxation of winnings. It’s not because they dislike you weird non-Americans — a surprising number of the people behind Seed are actually Canadian. Really. Hard to believe, I know, without a Tim Horton’s in sight anywhere in New York.

Anyway, blame the IRS, not Seed.


  1. #1 Brownian
    May 29, 2007

    Why are we Canadians ineligible? A creationist museum–the first permanent one in Canada–is opening in Big Valley, Alberta. Big Valley is just over 100 kilometres from Eckville, where in the 1980s James Keegstra taught his social studies students that the Holocaust was a fraud perpetrated by Jews to gain sympathy.

    If there is anywhere in Canada that needs a good dose of scientific literacy, it is here.

    Also, I could use the 2500 clams.

  2. #2 Brownian
    May 29, 2007

    Does this mean we have to stop whining?

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