In Brief

New Cards Against Humanity pack backs female scientists

Controversial party-game firm funds scholarship programme with new 30-card extension pack

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The team behind Cards Against Humanity, the popular "party game for horrible people" that prides itself on its humorous, unPC content, is backing a scholarship fund to help women in science.

Cards Against Humanity has raised over $578,000 for the Science Ambassador Scholarship, a fund for American women interested in studying science, technology, engineering or mathematics (also known as Stem fields).

The company's 30-card Science Pack, which serves as an £8 extension to the original game, is dedicated to "captivating theories like evolution and global warming, with a special guest appearance by Uranus", says the company. All profits go towards the scholarship, which will select a successful candidate and pay for her to undertake a four-year degree, starting in the autumn of 2016.

Video applications for the scholarship have opened and the hopefuls will be reviewed by a board of 50 women who work professionally in science. Organisations supporting the initiative include the Harvard Medical School and the Smithsonian Institution, reports CNBC.

"Women are underrepresented in science, tech, engineering and math," Josh Dillon, co-creator of Cards Against Humanity, explained. "We felt like the funding from this pack could have the greatest impact by making it possible for more women to get an education in those fields, and by giving them a platform to share their work and their passion for science."

The new pack has been written with the help of Phil Plait, from the myth-busting website Bad Astronomy, and Zach Weinersmith, the writer of the web comic Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal.

"I want more women in Stem fields. Why? Because I am selfish. I want all of my technology to be faster, smaller, and stronger, and I want other people to go through the effort to make that happen," said Weinersmith. "As long as women are under-represented in science and technology, my next iProduct will be slightly lower quality. By funding a female student to become a scientist and a science ambassador, I hope to get just a little bit of my incredibly lazy wish."

This is not the first time that Cards Against Humanity has backed a good cause. In 2013, it donated around $100,000 to fund projects for classrooms in poverty-stricken American regions.

Since 2012, it has released an annual holiday card pack, with the profits going to specific organisations, including the Sunlight Foundation, which campaigns to make the US government more accountable, and Wikimedia. The packs have, in total, donated more than $2.15m.

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