Sean Carroll to Judge 4th Annual 3QD Science Prize

UPDATE 6/25/12: The winners have been announced here.

UPDATE 6/18/12: The finalists have been announced here.

UPDATE 6/17/12: The semifinalists have been announced here.

UPDATE 6/11/12: Voting round is now open. Click here to see full list of nominees and vote.

Dear Readers, Writers, Bloggers,

SeanWe are very honored and pleased to announce that Sean M. Carroll has agreed to be the final judge for our 4th annual prize for the best blog and online writing in the category of science. (Details of the previous science prizes can be seen by clicking on the names of their respective judges here: Steven Pinker, Richard Dawkins, and Lisa Randall).

I have to admit that I was especially and extraordinarily pleased when Sean agreed to judge this prize for a number of reasons:

  1. Sean is a practicing scientist at the forefront of his field, which is physics.
  2. Sean is also one of the foremost science communicators of our time (I extremely highly recommend his last book From Eternity to Here) and he was one of the early science bloggers with Preposterous Universe and has continued with the ever excellent Cosmic Variance.
  3. Sean was an early supporter of 3QD and drove much traffic to us in our early days when we were basically unknown. Thanks again, Sean! 🙂
  4. I am honored and happy to count Sean and his very distinguished (and former 3QD columnist) science-writer wife, Jennifer Oullette, as friends.
  5. Sean is a past winner of a 3QD prize himself.

Sean, as many of you may already know, is a physicist at the California Institute of Technology. He received his Ph.D. in 1993 from Harvard University. His research focuses on theoretical physics and cosmology, especially the origin and constituents of the universe, and he has contributed to models of interactions between dark matter, dark energy, and ordinary matter; alternative theories of gravity; and violations of fundamental symmetries. Sean is the author of “From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time,” “Spacetime and Geometry: An Introduction to General Relativity,” and the upcoming “The Particle at the End of the Universe.” He blogs at Cosmic Variance, hosted by Discover magazine, and has been featured on television shows such as The Colbert Report and Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman. You may follow him on Twitter here.

As usual, this is the way it will work: the nominating period is now open, and will end at 11:59 pm EST on June 9, 2012. There will then be a round of voting by our readers which will narrow down the entries to the top twenty semi-finalists. After this, we will take these top twenty voted-for nominees, and the four main 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 up to three wildcard entries of their own choosing. The three winners will be chosen from these by Sean Carroll.

The first place award, called the “Top Quark,” 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 a two hundred dollar prize.

(Welcome to those coming here for the first time. Learn more about who we are and what we do here, and do check out the full site here. Bookmark us and come back regularly, or sign up for the RSS feed.)


PrizeScienceAnnounceSeanThe winners of this prize will be announced on June 25, 2012. Here's the schedule:

May 30, 2012:

  • The nominations are opened. Please nominate your favorite blog entry by placing the URL for the blog post (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. (Do NOT nominate a whole blog, just one individual blog post.)
  • Blog posts longer than 4,000 words are strongly discouraged, but we might make an exception if there is something truly extraordinary.
  • Each person can only nominate one blog post.
  • 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. In other words, it must have been written after May 29, 2011.
  • You may also nominate your own entry from your own or a group blog (and we encourage you to).
  • Guest columnists at 3 Quarks Daily are also eligible to be nominated, and may also nominate themselves if they wish.
  • Nominations are limited to the first 200 entries.
  • Prize money must be claimed within a month of the announcement of winners.

June 9, 2012

  • The nominating process will end at 11:59 PM (NYC time) of this date.
  • The public voting will be opened soon afterwards.

June 16, 2012

  • Public voting ends at 11:59 PM (NYC time).

June 25, 2012

  • The winners are announced.

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, post a link on your Facebook profile, Tweet it, or 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!