The 2013 UCS Editorial Cartoon Contest: Cartoon All-Stars

The 2013 UCS Editorial Cartoon Contest has ended! The winner is Mark Hicks of Phoenix, AZ.

This year we chose some of the best cartoons from past competitions that continue to shine light on the important role science should play in American democracy—and the barriers that get in the way.

A functioning democracy depends on the ability of citizens and elected officials to identify and rely upon legitimate sources of scientific information essential to ensuring the nation’s well-being and security. But today, science that is accepted as established knowledge in the expert community and by governments of other leading nations is commonly rejected in American public discourse.

Political ideologies, powerful financial interests, and a 24-hour digital news cycle that demands sensation and controversy have resulted in polarized debates in which facts are often disregarded or misrepresented. The persistent disregard for scientific evidence jeopardizes the ability of our nation’s leaders and citizens to make informed decisions and respond effectively to complex 21st-century challenges. It also threatens the principles of transparency and accountability on which our democracy depends.

Why Editorial Cartoons?

We seek to raise awareness about the relationships between science and democracy in an accessible way—and these issues are fertile ground for satire. The contest encourages many thousands of Americans to think about the importance of legitimate sources of scientific information to a functioning democracy.

If you like what you see, be sure to pre-order a calendar featuring these cartoons to be all set for 2014.

Spread the Word and Get Involved

Make sure to spread the word about the contest to your colleagues, friends, and family.

We need the persistent and energetic engagement of scientists and non-scientists alike to continue to encourage our nation’s leaders to not only defend the role of robust science in our decision making, but to champion it. If you're a scientist, engineer, or health professional, join the UCS Science Network to learn about ways you can weigh in with federal policy makers. If you are not a scientist and want to be involved, please sign up here.