The winners of our first-ever writing competition here at Scientific Blogging were announced this week, and we couldn’t be happier with the results. Three outstanding articles were selected by YOU – the readers, and all three are certainly worthy of the recognition.

Our Grand Prize winner is Darren Lipomi, a fifth-year PhD student in chemistry at Harvard University. Darren’s winning article, Plastic Solar Cells: Science, Expectations, and Challenges, outlines promising news in the development of the next generation of efficient, inexpensive solar cells. It’s a fascinating article providing a glimpse at a potential solution to our planets ever-growing energy needs – definitely a worthwhile read. And as our Grand Prize Winner (in addition to bragging rights) Darren has won a $2,500 cash prize AND a three-month paid writing-internship with us here at Scientific Blogging. So welcome, Darren, congratulations - and we look forward to hearing much more from you!

Our Second Prize winner is Jamil Zaki, a PhD candidate in Psychology at Columbia University. Jamil’s article, The Great Village in the Sky: Promise and Perils of Altruism on the Internet, provides an interesting look at this worldwide community we call the Internet, and the types of behaviors we observe from a population that can now interact with individuals around the world in complete anonymity. It’s an extremely thought-provoking piece. Be sure to check it out, and also congratulate Jamil who will also receive a $1,000 cash prize for his second place win.

Our Third Prize winner is Zuleikha Kurji, a PhD candidate in the department of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Caltech.  Zuleikha’s article, Adaptive Eyewear: Glimpsing the Obvious, describes the development of a new approach for corrective eyewear – adaptive-focus eyeglasses. This is a huge step forward providing glasses to individuals world-wide that can neither access nor afford traditional prescription eyewear. It’s a very informative and heartening article – and its popularity with our readers won Zuleikha our third-place prize of $500.

In addition, Danna Staaf, our resident squid expert, won our random drawing for the ScientificBlogging MonoHD Flip Video Camera. Danna is a graduate student at Stanford University's Hopkins Marine Station, and since joining ScientificBlogging after hearing about our competition, has provided us with daily glimpses into the little known lives of squid. Her articles are often humorous, and always informative. You can check out her contest entry, Squid Says: What’s for Dinner? Probably Not You, as well as her other daily musings in her column Squid A Day.

Congratulations to all of our winners! And thanks also to everyone else that participated in the competition. We were impressed with the variety and quality of all the entries. We have enjoyed this opportunity to expand our ScientificBlogging family, and we hope you will all continue to be active members by writing and interacting with other writers here on the site.

And for those of you who missed this opportunity, and are hoping for a chance to participate in a ScientificBlogging Writing Competition yourself, stay tuned…