The 3 Quarks Daily Science Prizes have been announced. Top Quark went to the ever-amazing Eric Michael Johnson for his deeply-researched and thought-engaging post on how Promiscuity Is Pragmatic. The second place slot, The Strange Quark, went to... ME! I'm honored to be chosen for this award, judged by none other than the esteemed Frans B. M. de Waal. Eric and the third-place winner, Carl Zimmer, are both incredibly talented writers, and I'm truly humbled to be in such good company. For the Strange Quark, Frans picked my essay on Margie Profet and the counter-intuitive idea that allergies might actually be a good thing. Here's what Frans had to say about the piece:
"My second choice is Christie Wilcox’s piece on the toxin hypothesis of allergies. It is well written and the recent mouse work she describes supports the view that allergies reflect a protective mechanism... In fact, all three essays explore unusual ideas that seem to go against the mainstream, which makes for exciting reading, leaving one to wonder what other established ideas we may have wrong. As such, these authors promote the healthy skepticism that is the bedrock of science, and show that science is always in flux, always keeping us at the edge of our seat. In a society that sometimes turns away from science, or views it as a boring mass of facts, this is a most important message to convey."