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Call for Concerned Cartoonists

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Attention all doodlers: The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is now accepting entries for its second annual Science Idol editorial cartoon contest. The grand prize includes $500 and an all-expenses paid trip to Washington, D.C. to tour the UCS offices and meet with Tom Toles, editorial cartoonist for the Washington Post.

Here’s the catch: You gotta make the distortion, manipulation, and suppression of science in the federal government, well, funny. An ambitious task, for sure, but the UCS does offer a couple of tips for creating that winning entry:

This year, we are especially interested in cartoons that focus on the recent actions the White House has taken to centralize decision-making authority…We’d also like cartoons that examine possible solutions to this wide-spread problem, including steps the next president might take to restore scientific integrity to federal policy making.

They also suggest steering clear of a few hot-button topics, including the morality of stem cell or cloning research, the teaching of evolution, and ethical lapses of individual scientists or certain political parties (ahem).

Above, last year’s winning entry, drawn by James MacLeod. “All of the great political cartoonists have been able to communicate important and difficult truths through this medium,” MacLeod said at the time. “They’re accessible. Cartoons allow you to tap into an audience you wouldn’t otherwise reach.”

Make sure to enter before the May 22 deadline!

Image by permission of James MacLeod