National Science Week Science Mini-​​Zine competition

Last year as part of National Science Week, the Young Australian Skeptics helped distribute over 2,000 Science Mini-Zine’s across Melbourne.

This year, National Science Week are calling on you to design your own Science Mini-​​Zine, to help promote and advance science with your own creative spin!

If you’re not familiar with the campaign, allow me to let Andrew Yang — creator of the initiative — explain what it’s all about:

Many say science is one of the most democratic forms of knowledge: experiments that anyone should be able to repeat, data that others are required to confirm, and results that are widely published.

At the same time, the gap between scientific, medical, & engineering specialists on the one hand, and the general public on the other, only continues to increase. As the privatization and patenting of scientific knowledge rapidly grows, overall scientific literacy continues to be very low, the topic of evolution being a prime example in the U.S. context.

It is easy to feel disempowered, believing that scientific knowledge is obscure, boring and simply not for them. As a result, we might dismiss the relevance of science in our lives, assuming only doctors, researchers and policy experts need to know all the facts, and so will do all of the thinking for us. Although sometimes enjoying the strangeness and weirdness of scientific discoveries, many of us don’t seem to believe we could play any part in communicating and sharing science.

The Small Science Collective is about everyone, especially non~scientists and non~specialists, thinking about and sharing science through cheap and handy mini-​​zines. Contributions come from researchers, students, the science-​​curious (and hopefully you as well!) These zines and pamphlets are distributed in subways, benches, coffee shops, and any place someone might least expect them. Perhaps catching the attention of strangers who might what to learn something new about ants, spirals, food, or genetics?

Whatever else, it is at least something to read while you wait for the bus. Pick one up, print one out here, read it, and leave it somewhere random for some unsuspecting stranger to pick up and learn something new. The science is yours to share.

As if that wasn’t inspiring enough, National Science Week will be awarding prizes to the most impressive illustrations and the most entertaining science story!

Prizes include:
 – The chance to have dinner with a scientist in your area of interest.
 – A subscription to COSMOS magazine
 – A crocheted brain and many more!

So, are you ready to make your Mini-​​Zine? Just follow these easy steps as laid out on the National Science Week Victoria’s website:

1. Choose a topic and theme.
You can design a Mini-​​Zine about anything in science – from penguins to meteorites to quarks. Examples can be found at the Small Science Collective’s website.

2. Design it.
Just download the template: http://​smallsciencezines​.blogspot​.com/​2​0​0​6​/​0​1​/​z​i​n​e​-​l​i​b​r​a​r​y​.​html.

3. Fold it.
Follow these easy-​​to-​​use instructions: http://​www​.andrewyang​.com/​h​o​w​2​f​o​l​d​.pdf.

4. Email it.
Entries must be submitted to: by July 31st 2010 (only 9 days to go!). Include your full name, suburb, phone number, category and age in the email.