3 Quarks Daily Announces Four Annual Blog Prizes: The Quarks!

June 21, 2009, NOTE: The winners have been announced. See here.

June 11, 2009, NOTE: See list of seven finalists by clicking here.

Dear Readers (and Writers!),

S. Abbas Raza I have some exciting news to give you: in the interest of encouraging and rewarding good writing in the blogosphere, we have decided to start awarding four prizes every year in the respective areas of Science, Arts & Literature, Politics, and Philosophy for the best blog post in those fields. Here's how it's going to work:

Starting next month, the prizes will be awarded every year on the two solstices and the two equinoxes. So, we will announce the winner of the science prize on June 21, the arts and literature prize on September 22, the politics prize on December 21, and the philosophy prize on March 20, 2010.

About a month before the prize is to be announced we will solicit nominations of blog entries from our readers. The nominating period will last approximately one to two weeks. At the end of this time, we will open up the process to voting by our readers. After this period, we will take the top twenty voted-for nominees, and the four main daily editors of 3 Quarks Daily (Abbas Raza, Robin Varghese, Morgan Meis, and Azra Raza) will select six finalists from these, plus they may also add a wildcard entry of their choosing. And finally, a well-known intellectual from the field will pick the winner, runner up, and third place finisher from these, and will write some short comments on the winning entries.

Just for fun, the first place award will be called the “Top Quark,” and will include a cash prize of one thousand dollars; the second place prize, the “Strange Quark,” will include a cash prize of three hundred dollars; and the third place winner will get the honor of winning the “Charm Quark,” along with two hundred dollars.

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The 3QD Prize in Science, 2009, Judged by Steven Pinker

Pinker As I said, the winners of this prize will be announced on June 21, 2009, so we don't have as much time as we'd like for the nominating and voting processes. Here's the somewhat tight schedule:


  • The nominating process is hereby declared open. Please nominate your favorite blog entry in the field of the natural and social sciences by placing the URL for the blogpost (the permalink) in the comments section of this post. You may also add a brief comment describing the entry and saying why you think it should win.
  • Entries must be in English.
  • The editors of 3QD reserve the right to reject entries that we feel are not appropriate.
  • The blog entry may not be more than a year old from today. In other words, it must have been written after May 24, 2008.
  • You may also nominate your own entry from your own or a group blog.
  • Guest columnists at 3 Quarks Daily are also eligible to be nominated, and may also nominate themselves if they wish.
  • You may also comment here on our prizes themselves, and this post, of course!

June 1, 2009

  • The nominating process will end at midnight (NYC time) of this date, so this time around there is only a week to submit nominations.
  • At some point on this day, the public voting will be opened.

June 8, 2009

  • Public voting ends at midnight (NYC time).

June 21, 2009

  • The winners are announced.

This year, the winners of the 3QD Prize in Science will be selected from the six finalists by Steven Pinker, who will also provide some comments about each of the three winning entries. We are honored to have him as our final judge, and would like to thank him warmly for his service.

One Final and Important Request

If you have a blog or website, please help us spread the word about our prizes by linking to this post. Otherwise, just email your friends and tell them about it! I really look forward to reading some very good material, and think this should be a lot of fun for all of us.

Best of luck and thanks for your attention!