Request for proposals and call for entries from Artist as Citizen:

In cooperation with Andrew Revkin, science reporter for the New York Times, we are pleased to present our second design competition.

The subject of this design competition is climate change, the public perception of risk, and the role of graphics (and media in general) in effectively communicating expert opinion.

The competition is open to undergraduates and grad students majoring in art, design, film, photography, or new media. Graduated students within three years of receiving their degree are also eligible. The contest entries are due by August 7, 2009. The prize is $2000. The contest finalists will be judged by the public, via readers on the Dot Earth blog on

In addition, Artist As Citizen has up to $ 4000 in minigrants for concept development, in amounts from $ 200 to $ 800 (for team entries). To apply for one of these minigrants please describe your proposal in a paragraph, along with a portfolio link or sample of work, to Minigrants available while supplies last or up to July 21. Projects developed with minigrant support will be eligible for the grand prize.


The story below in Mr. Revkin's blog Dot Earth describes a graphic that is intended to show risks to the planet of increasing warmth:

''Climate ‘Embers’ Burning Brighter”

We seek new designs for the information in the 'burning embers' graph or in similar risk evaluations like these graphs from MIT. Your may choose format, media, and interpretation (examples: illustrations, graphics, photo montage, YouTube videos, flash movies, or any combination). Data compared should be faithful to the IPCC, MIT, or other scientific primary source. (Please include the name of your source.)
OR: come up with a personal way to engage, or examine, the risk assessment in 'burning embers' -- literally, or impressionistically; as a narrative, or in documentary form.

Examples for alternate lines of inquiry: 1. document your friend's reaction to the graphs, or that of strangers on the street. 2. find out how much time an average person in your area devotes to thinking about the subject.

Open to all media that can be presented online. We are excited to see your ideas!

You may create as many entries as you like. Team entries are permitted.

Questions may be directed to:


Q: Wasn't this subject taken care of by "An Inconvenient Truth"?
A: Actually, public concern on climate has been in decline recently, according to Pew and Gallup polls.

Q: Maybe the problem is going away, too? Hasn't it been cooler lately?
A: Actually, scientists and economists have become increasingly urgent about climate change, which appears to be happening at a faster pace, and with greater risks, than previously predicted.

contest deadline: Friday, August 7, 2009

This contest will be first in a series of projects by Artist as Citizen on the subject of climate change, the shape of the future, and public opinion.

For a deeper look, we offer these links:

An overview from the science journal Nature:

A British report about communicating with public (the summary at front gives an overview):

A key emerging idea is that it's not science about climate that's lacking, it's science about people. Of course, entrants to this contest are already communicators, so you have a head start.

Andrew Revkin on method: "I'm all about what gets the job done., flash, cartoon, you name it."

Online Submission Form:


competition update (July 6, 2009), an umbrella organization, has reached out to Artist As Citizen. We recommend them as a future global gallery for people interested in presenting their exploration of climate and public opinion. Contest entrants should contact Jessica Bruah <jessica[ ]> for details on submitting their AAC entries to

The Burning Embers Competition Page

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