In December we made a call for T-shirt slogans that demonstrated SFI science acumen and that were clever and irreverent enough to compel people to wear them. Out of a couple dozen submissions, the SFI Alumni Community team is proud to announce the winning entries for this year’s T-shirt slogan competition.

More about the SFI Alumni Community here.

The prospect of winning SFI’s crowd-favorite swag item, a signed Murray Gell-Mann bobble head, brought out the best from our contenders. The submissions were initially ranked by members of the alumni team, who then met to advocate for their favorite designs.

Alas, agreement was only possible if three designs were chosen rather than one. We’ll be printing all three in succession in 2015. With that, here are the winning T-shirt slogans of 2015; remarkably, all three winning slogans are credited to longtime SFI collaborator Stephen Guerin.

So close to heaven, so far from equilibrium, the group favorite, now available. (All three designs say “SFI Alumni Community” on the back.)

It’s all about the interactions, isn’t it? With a nod to singer Meghan Trainor, expect this slogan in print this summer.

Because nature abhors a gradient, a modern take on the Classical Age dictum. Its truth-value is up for debate, but we honor it in the context of bringing down barriers. Look for it in the fall.

We’re thankful to Guerin for these and several other amusing submissions. When asked to comment about his success in the competition, Guerin replied: “I'm cleaning off my car dash for the bobble head!"

The SFI Alumni team also salutes and thanks the finalists responsible for the following slogans:

Talk about Complex Personalities

Too Complex to Have Evolved Naturally

We came, we solved, we kicked its CAS, for “Complex Adaptive Systems.” Clever, but this is a family transdisciplinary research center.

Formerly Complex, Still Complex

Thanks again to everyone who participated! The equilibrium T-shirt is now available in heavenly blue at the SFI front desk for $20; you can arrange to have one mailed to you for a $5 shipping fee by contacting us at (while supplies last).

Special thanks to SFI Alumni Community team members Hilary Skolnik, Juniper Lovato, Connor O'Neil, Jenna Marshall, and John German for their input.