Four prizes were awarded in the third annual Morgridge Institute for Research Ethics Cartooning Contest, which invites participants to make a cartoon on any ethical issue related to biomedical research. The competition drew 72 entrants from more than 39 different departments and programs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and affiliated research institutions.
Charlotte Kanzler, a first-year graduate student in the UW-Madison Cellular and Molecular Biology program and a member of the Phil Newmark lab at Morgridge, took the top prize.
The lab focuses on planarian species, flatworms that have regenerative capabilities, to better understand developmental processes. Kanzler is investigating the somatic support cells of the planarian ovary to learn more about female germ cell development.
Kanzler’s winning cartoon explores the complexity of environmental advocacy when scientific laboratories are dependent on single-use plastics.
“I wanted to do a piece based around plastic use because it’s often something I’ve heard joked about, by myself as well, in the lab: ‘Ha, I’m killing the environment, I used 10 boxes of pipette tips today,’” says Kanzler. “Researchers who are often conscientious in their home life with recycling, purchasing green energy, or driving efficient cars, then turn a blind eye to their plastic use once they cross the threshold of the lab.”
Read the full story from the Morgridge Institute for Research.