Suggestions and questions are welcome and encouraged.

The Society wishes to thank Russell Beland, Chris Doyle, Kyle Hendrickson, and Pat Myers for their help in assembling the archive that is linked to from this page.

THEMES: Below are links to subsets of these contests, which I call "themes". Most of the contests have been assigned one or more themes, which are indicated with trigraphs. It was not easy going through more than a thousand synposes to make these subjective assignments, so please let me know of any adjustments that should be made.


June 19, 1994 69  LAYING DOWN THE LAW  Send us some exciting new principles that explain why things happen they way they happen.  SCI   Text file  Pat Scully  Text file 
April 2, 1995 107  CLUSTERS' LAST STAND  Take an actual star cluster, redraw the lines into a different image, and give it a new name.  SCI   Text file  Joseph Romm
David "Stockton" Smith 
Text file 
July 21, 1996 175  FOSSIL FOOLS  What would aliens mistakenly conclude about us from any of the provided items?  SCI   Text file  Art Grinath  Text file 
January 19, 1997 201  THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE  Come up with a new element and its symbol, and provide a brief description of its chemical or physical properties.  SCI   Text file  Irwin Singer  Text file 
March 9, 1997 208  SEND IN THE CLONES  Suggest questions a commission to investigate the moral, legal and practical question raised by cloning might consider.  POL REL SCI   Text file  Joan Schloo  Text file 
May 23, 1999 323  THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD INVITATIONAL  Come up with not-quite-ready inventions, past or present.  SCI BUS   Text file | Post e-version  Brian Broadus  Text file | Post e-version 
July 2, 2000 356
Med Icks  Invent a clever name for a new medical product, and specify the condition it would treat.  SCI   Text file | Post PDF  Chester Myslicki  Text file | Post PDF 
January 21, 2001 385
Proceed Gingerly  What is the still-secret invention, code-name "Ginger", that is said to meet the provided criteria?  SCI   Text file  Ervin Stembol  Text file 
March 14, 2004 549  Show Us Your Best Quantities  Come up with novel units of measure, and explain or quantify them.  SCI   Text file  Joseph Anthony  Text file 
March 7, 2009 807  Pretty Graphic Expressions  Express some insight as an equation or other mathematical expression.  SCI   Text file  Phyllis Reinhard  Text file 
April 11, 2009 812  Rx-Related Humor  Offer up some entirely false medical or psychological "fact."  SCI   Text file  Stephen Dudzik  Text file 
May 8, 2010 868  Count the ways  Give us some musings of a technical wonk.  SCI   Text file  Jeffrey Contompasis  Text file 
July 17, 2010 878  Safety in blunders  Tell us a way to make the nation more secure.  SCI POL   Text file  Jon Graft  Text file 
June 12, 2011 923  Chemical Wordfare  Create a new chemical element or other chemical term.  SCI   Text file  Christopher Lamora  Text file 
April 22, 2012 968  Take us for grants  Come up with a proposal to the National Science Foundation or other research-funding organization for a study based on a stupid hypothesis.  SCI   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Robert Schechter  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
May 14, 2017 1227  Celebrate ortho-diversity!  Name and describe a new life form -- and no letter in the term may be used twice. (Conversational textLET SCI   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Seth Tucker  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
July 9, 2017 1235  The Sound of Science  Write humorous lyrics on the subject of science or technology, set to a well-known tune. (Conversational textPOE SCI   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Hildy Zampella  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
November 5, 2017 1252  It's a med, med, med, med world  Invent a clever name for a new medical product, and specify the condition it would treat. (Conversational textSCI   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  William Verkuilen  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version 
March 10, 2019 1322  Back to the drawing board  Come up with an idea for an invention that still needs a bug ironed out.  SCI BUS   Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version  Jeffrey Contompasis  Text file | Post PDF | Post e-version