Summer songwriting competition is back… in new and younger-looking format!

You may remember us running a songwriting competition over the summer a couple of years ago. We had some unbelievably good entries and crowned a worthy winner in comic book illustrator Naomi Fearn, who went on to join the line-up for the Geek Pop 2011 festival.

Well, the songwriting competition is back, but this time we’re working in collaboration with friend, sociable physicist, fellow podcaster and star of Geek Pop festivals past, Dr Martin Austwick. And we’re on the hunt for the science songwriters of the future – you have to be 18 or under to take part. (Sorry, everyone else!*)

The prizes are going to be bigger and better than before. Thanks to our links with Green Man Festival, we’re able to offer two free tickets for the festival this August. The winner (accompanied by a guardian) will get to join a special science songwriting workshop in Einstein’s Garden, the tippest, toppest, artsiest science garden you ever did come across at a music festival… And most probably anywhere else.

And if that’s not enough, we’ll play the winning song on the Geek Pop Podcast. Fame and fortune await!

Songs can be based on any scientific topic, but there will be a bonus prize for songs about “sociable physics” – that’s the Dr’s specialist area and he’ll be explaining more about it when we announce full details in the next week or so. For now though, get writing… You have about two months to put together your science songs! For inspiration, check out our archives of songs from the podcast and festival.

Thanks to the Institute of Physics and I’m a Scientist, Get Me Out of Here! for supporting the competition.

*If you have a science song you’d like us to hear and you’re over 18, why not send it in for us to play on our podcast?
Image: Didi90

Geek Pop: May 2012

Inspired by some Barenaked Ladies lyrics, Hayley presents her top five crazy theories for dinosaur extinction. And Jim does some back-of-an-envelope calculations in an attempt at answering the question posed by Oxford popsters Alphabet Backwards: “If we all threw an ice cube in the sea, could we save the polar bears?”

Don’t forget to vote in this month’s *evil* Geek Poll.

The May Spotify playlist is down the bottom of this post. To suggest songs for next month’s playlist on the theme of PLANTS, email Jim and Hayley and

For the Benefit of Mankind – Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band

Panic Plants – The Lovely Eggs

The Science of Fear – The Temper Trap

The Big Bang Theory theme – Barenaked Ladies

Polar Bears – Alphabet Backwards

PRSClick here to choose from iTunes and other podcatchers. Subscription is free – it just means that whenever you open iTunes, it will automatically check for updates and download new podcasts. The online archive is here.

Intro/outro music by Intercontinental Music Lab. Image: from 1781, the first published illustration of a polar bear in Die Säugthiere in Abbildungen nach der Natur.


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