Paul Knoepfler, PhD, is a stem cell researcher and professor at the UC Davis School of Medicine in Sacramento, CA. He also runs a well-regarded blog that you really should be reading if you’re not already.
Knoepfler has announced he’s offering a $50 iTunes gift certificate and publication on the blog as prizes for an essay contest; the challenge is to challenge Knoepfler. He wants 500 words on out-of-the-box thinking on stem cells – nonfiction, but otherwise completely open-ended – that surprises him and makes him think. There are two entry categories: entries written by those 18 and under and those written by people 19 years old and older.
There are a few other rules Knoepfler is instituting, most notably a deadline of June 30 (and no exceptions to that, he adds).
Also of note: He stresses the essays should not be boring. And this from a man who graduated with a BA in English literature from Reed College, the renowned liberal arts college in Portland, OR! The likelihood of bluffing one’s way through the essay is low indeed; whoever wins the contests will most certainly have earned their victory.
But genuinely good ideas are still good ideas, whether or not you choose to use 10-dollar words to describe them. So if you have a good idea, type up an essay and send it off to him.