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American Association for the Advancement of Science

2013 Visualization Challenge winners announced

View a Fluid Flow produced by Corals: The first-place photograph, “Invisible Coral Flows,” reveals the hidden natural beauty of the reef-building coral habitat. The image of a Pocillopora damicornis (cauliflower coral), taken by Vicente Fernandez from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, draws the viewer to a fluid vortex generated by cilia covering the coral’s surface, creating a whirlpool structure in the surrounding seawater.
Credit: Vicente I. Fernandez, Orr H. Shapiro, Melissa S. Garren, Assaf Vardi, and Roman Stocker; Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Art and science have always gone hand-in-hand. So, for the past 11 years, the journal Science and the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) have sponsored the International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, which honors 18 groups or individuals who use visual media--photography, video, illustration, posters, games, etc.--to promote science.

This year, there were 227 visually striking entries from 12 different countries. To rank them, judges considered each entry's visual impact, message and originality.

One of this year's winners, "Dynamic Earth," is a film animation project that combines complex, state-of-the-art computational models from institutes across the United States with 3D images to describe the effect of the Sun's energy on Earth's wind and ocean currents.

Another award-winning visual, called "Wearable Power," describes clothing that has power sources built right into the fabric, which may be useful for the medical, military or sportswear industries. Other winners include a unique biofilm imaging method, a neuroscience game called "EyeWire: A Game to Map the Brain," and a photograph that shows the beauty of reef-building corals.

A special news feature in the 7 February issue of Science will present the winning entries, and a slideshow will be available to the public without registration at http://scim.ag/VisChall2013.