UCS Cartoon Contest: Choose Your Science Idol Today!

Upset about political interference in science? You’re not alone. Thousands of scientists and concerned citizens are speaking out against the distortion, suppression, and manipulation of science on issues as diverse as global warming and toxic mercury pollution.

But now you have a chance to have a little fun—and win some excellent prizes. This summer, artists of all ages submitted hundreds of cartoons addressing political interference in science to Science Idol: the Scientific Integrity Editorial Cartoon Contest sponsored by the Union of Concerned Scientists. UCS worked with a panel of highly accomplished cartoonists and cartoon editors to whittle the many entries down to twelve witty finalists, which will be featured in the 2007 Defending Science calendar.

Now it’s your turn to help choose which cartoon appears on the cover. Click here to see these great cartoons and vote for the winner. When you vote, you’ll automatically receive a chance to win one of 50 free copies of the calendar.

Contest judges included New Yorker cartoon editor Robert Mankoff; Philadelphia Inquirer cartoonist Tony Auth and Christian Science Monitor cartoonist Clay Bennett, both winners of the Pulitzer Prize; and Rhymes with Orange creator Hilary Price. The cartoons deal with a range of issues from the suppression of specific reports by administration officials to the general way in which politicians can abuse the work of scientists.

In conjunction with the scientists' statement on scientific integrity, the Union of Concerned Scientists has released two reports detailing multiple examples of the Bush administration's unprecedented manipulation, distortion, and suppression of government science.

Since the two UCS reports were published, the mainstream and scientific media have continued to report abuse after abuse, many of which may have dangerous impacts on our nation's health, safety, and environment.

UCS has released surveys of scientists at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Fisheries Division, and the Food and Drug Administration showing significant political interference in science at those agencies.

The UCS Scientific Integrity Program is working to prevent political interference in science, ensure that the next president respects the scientific process, and create systemic changes that improve the way that science informs policy making on important environmental, health, and national security issues. To learn more about the issue and how you can defend science from politics, visit http://www.ucsusa.org/scientific_integrity.