USA Science and Engineering Festival: The Blog

Does Science Need a Jingle?

A few months ago, I told a well-connected colleague about the USA Science & Engineering Festival. He asked me how he could help and I suggested he help us spread the word. Well, he enthusiastically sent out a blast and I was copied on his email to about forty scientists.

One of the recipients responded to the email, almost instantaneously, saying that he had visited our website and saw a link to our jingle contest. His complaint to the email list was: “What has science come to? Do we really need a jingle contest?” I must admit that I was taken aback as I had initiated the contest. I mulled over his comments for several days, wondering whether I should discontinue the contest.

Then I literally stumbled upon this quote from Nobel Laureate Richard Feynman:

“Our poets do not write about it; Our artists do not try to portray this remarkable thing. I don’t know why. Is no one inspired by our present picture of the universe? The value of science remains unsung by singers: you are reduced to hearing not a song or poem, but an evening lecture about it. This is not yet a scientific age.”

I believe the answer is a resounding Yes — Science could use a jingle.

We are nearing the end of the USA Science and Engineering Festival jingle competition and have had dozens of wonderful submissions. I must admit that when I hear a jingle like the following one it does stir in me a grand, passionate feeling about science.

Find out more about submitting your jingle to the competition here.

Prize for the winning Jingle: $500 (and knowing that your Jingle will be heard and sung by hundreds of thousands of science enthusiasts across the country)

Submission Deadline: April 30, 2010

You can sing it solo or with your friends, with your choir or band, in unison or harmony, with accompaniment or a cappella, as long as the words and music are your idea and the entire Jingle is your original idea.

We are looking for a Jingle that

* • captures the spirit of curiosity, innovation and discovery that the Festival is all about
* • is so memorable that people can’t stop singing it!

Imagine hundreds of thousands of people humming your Jingle on their way to the USA Science & Engineering Festival Expo Day in the National Mall!


  1. #1 kleer001
    April 12, 2010

    Jonathon Coulton (the nerd’s troubadour) who goes on and on about math and science and programming.

    Not exactly what you’re asking for, but the field is not completely fallow.

  2. #2 Alisdair
    April 12, 2010

    This guy has the right idea:

    (probably his first, A Glorious Dawn would be most jingle-worthy)

    as do They Might Be Giants:

  3. #3 S.L.
    April 12, 2010

    Richard Feynman, not Robert Feynman I think..

  4. #4 Joanna Pool
    April 13, 2010

    @S.L. Thanks for pointing that out! It is Richard. We have corrected that.

  5. #5 aca,
    April 27, 2010

    Yesterday, I got Wii shoulder after playing baseball for the first time. Now my muscles get tense whenever I write or move my arm in general. Good thing I don’t own a Wii myself.

  6. #6 red pepper
    May 31, 2010

    Thanks for pointing that out! It is Richard. We have corrected that.