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Welcome to the SB&F Editor's Blog. I am Maria Sosa, Editor-in-Chief of SB&F. Through this blog I hope to interact with the SB&F community and post news and information related to science books, videos, authors, opportunities and other topics of interest to our readers. I hope you find the blog useful and entertaining. Please, join the conversation by posting a comment on our Facebook page. I'd love to hear from you!


Recently I've come across a number of interesting science-related contests and competitions that I thought I would share with our readers. Check out the opportunities below. From chemistry to earth science to science fiction poetry, one of them might be perfect for you!

American Chemical Society invites entries in video contest on ‘Everyday Chemistry’

Scientists and students still have two weeks to submit entries to a new American Chemical Society (ACS) video contest to win prizes that include a paid trip to the next national meeting of the world’s largest scientific society. Contest details and a sample video are available at

ACS launched the “Everyday Chemistry” contest as part of the celebration of the 90th anniversary of Chemical & Engineering News (C&EN), the society’s weekly newsmagazine. Inviting scientists, students and others to create videos that highlight the chemistry in everyday life is part of ACS’ efforts to foster better communication of chemistry’s role in solving global challenges to the public and policymakers.

One winner will receive a trip to the 246th ACS National Meeting & Exposition in Indianapolis, Sept. 8-12. The winning video will be featured in C&EN, on ACS’ Bytesize Science channel, on the homepage and in a profile on the Chemistry Ambassadors webpage. Entries are due by July 31, 2013.

Whether the videos are filmed on smartphones or DSLR cameras, the clips should be creative, engaging and less than two minutes long. The contest is open to everyone around the world. The sample video for the contest features American University Assistant Professor of chemistry Matthew Hartings’ everyday chemistry tip on how to caramelize onions in minutes with a dash of baking soda.

Earth Science Week 2013 Contests

In celebration of Earth Science Week 2013, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) is sponsoring three national contests honoring this year’s theme “Mapping Our World.” This year’s competitions will feature a photography contest, a visual arts contest, and an essay contest.

Students, geologists, and the general public are invited to participate in this year’s photography contest, “Mapping My Community.” Entries must be composed of original, unpublished material, and show how maps are used in your community.

This year’s visual arts contest, “Making Maps Through the Ages” is open to students in grades K-5. Imagine that you are a map maker, either now or in the past. Use artwork to show yourself as an Earth scientist making a map. How would you make a map? What tools would you use?

Finally, students in grades 6 through 9 may participate in the essay contest. This year’s essays must address the idea of “How Geoscientists Use Maps.” Submissions will be judged by a panel of geoscientists on creativity, relevance, and incorporation of the  topic at hand. Selected winners will be awarded for their submissions.  For details, please visit

Science Fiction Poetry Contest

The 2013 SFPA (Science Fiction Poetry Association) speculative poetry contest is open to all poets, including non-SFPA-members. Prizes will be awarded for best poem in 3 categories: Dwarf (poems 1-10 lines); Short (11-49 lines [prose poems 0-499 words]); Long (50 lines and more [prose 500 words and up]). Line count does not include title or stanza breaks. All sub-genres of speculative poetry allowed in any form.

In each category, a first prize of $100, a second prize of $50, and a third prize of $25 will be awarded. No limit on number of poems; entry fee of $1.00 for SFPA members and $2.00 for non-members per poem can be paid via PayPal to Please indicate name/e-mail under which poems are submitted if different. For more information see




Posted 18 Jul 2013 3:57 PM by Maria Sosa