How did I miss this contest?

Sorry I’m a bit late on this. (Yes, I know that Tara and John pimped this contest nearly a month ago, but somehow it slipped by me to mention it myself; that is, until Skepchick reminded me of it as I caught up on my blog reading over the weekend.

If you’ve read my Medicine and Evolution series, you’ll know I’d be interested in this contest. From the Alliance for Science, it is an essay contest for high school students. The topic is Why would I want my doctor to have studied evolution? They’re asking for an essay of 1,000 words or less, and the due date is March 31. Official rules are here.

First prize for students is $300 and a subscription to Seed Magazine, and the first prize for teachers includes $250 for laboratory equipment plus some interesting teaching materials on evolution–plus the subscription to Seed Magazine.

This is a great way to try to get those future pre-meds before they even enter college. Evolutionary theory is becoming more and more important in medicine, the claims of evolution-ignorant physicians like Dr. David Cook and Dr. Michael Egnor not withstanding, and this needs to be communicated.

My main concern is that, sadly, in all too many parts of the country, science teachers could get into serious trouble for having their classes participate in this contest, which makes me wonder just how many entries this contest will get. I hope I’m wrong, but I can imagine what would happen if a teacher in the Bible belt tried to get his or her class to enter the contest.