Monday, March 20, 2023

2023 FQI Essay Competition

FQI, aka, has a new essay contest:
How Could Science be Different?

OPEN TO SUBMISSIONS | February 28 to April 19, 2023

1st essays to be posted by March 28. ...

In this Competition, we invite creative and thought-provoking essays addressing science itself by considering the questions: To what degree is the science we have today necessarily the way it is, versus contingent on the particular history and human societies in which it originated? What could a science free of prejudice and bigotry have looked like, what can it look like in the future? And how could the process of science be better?

I submitted essays to previous competitions, but the system had two previous defects.
  1. Essays were not anonymous, and judging was largely on the reputation of the author.
  2. Essays were quietly rejected, if the judges thought that something was incorrect.
The prizes often went to friends and acquaintances of the judges. I suspect that my essays were downgraded because of disagreements with opinions on this blog, as opposed to judging the essay itself. I got high ratings in their public forum, but not from the judges.

They have a forum where authors can defend their essays, before judging. I agree with rejecting incorrect essays, but I think that the errors should first be posted on the forum, so that the author can defend the correctness of the essay. I suspect that some essays were rejected when they were not incorrect. The editor disagreed with some opinions or interpretations. Or the judges were mistaken.

This year's contest promises that the judging will be anonymous. This addresses defect (1). Maybe I will submit an essay, and see if anonymity makes a difference. I also wonder if they are looking for woke essays that argue that science needs to free itself from systemic prejudice to do good works and stop oppressing various groups.


  1. Here's a question for the forum:

    Can someone do valid science who does not agree with your political views?
    If the answer is no, then science as a methodology used to discern truth is dead in the western world.

    My fear is that science has become a mere veneer of scientism, a quasi-religious political party seeking power, funded by the state and administered by a priesthood of groupthink quacks who's only real talent is gaming the system for grants and writing useless papers, and who know next to nothing about what a conflict of interest is.

  2. I am tempted to write an essay on how requiring researchers to be diverse and woke is going to make science worse.