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The 2014 Science Challenge essay competition has been launched by the Royal College of Science Union. The competition aims to promote scientific communication and creative thinking and is open to secondary school pupils around the UK and to Imperial College students.

Entrants will write an 800 word essay in answer to one of three questions, or produce a 3 minute video.  

Jon Kudlick, director of membership, marketing and communications at the Society of Biology, is one of the judges. He set the question: ‘How should we decide which species to prioritise for conservation?’

Jon says: “Last year we had a debate during Biology Week about whether we should save the panda, and this proved to be a complex and emotive issue. When allocating resources we have to think about which species are most important both to people and to ecosystems, and consider the practical challenges we face.

“I am pleased to support a competition which encourages students to consider scientific challenges in their social context and I look forward to reading the entries.”

Jon will judge the competition alongside Professor Fay Dowker from the Department of Physics at Imperial College, Dr Jad Marrouche, a CERN physicist, and BBC journalist Pallab Ghosh. The overall winner will be selected by Professor Lord Robert Winston Hon FSB. Society of Biology Fellow Professor Margaret Dallman, Dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences at Imperial College, also gave a speech at the launch event.

The competition will be open for entries from 1st February 2014.