Seeing the world of science through a photographer's lens or through other forms of media can dazzle the creative mind. In the winning entries of the 2008 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, sponsored jointly by the journal Science, which is published by AAAS, the nonprofit international science society, and the National Science Foundation (NSF), breathtaking photographs and graphics often reveal intricate details of our world—the three-dimensional path made by a rapidly spinning string cutting through space and the unique anatomy of the half-meter-long Loligo pealei squid whose tiny suckers are 400-micrometers in diameter.
"I wanted to reveal the tiny world we trample through, creating scenes that at first glance parallel to our macroscopic world, until you look a little closer," said Colleen Champ, a first-place winner with Dennis Kunkel in the Informational Graphics category. "The 'Mad Hatter's Tea' is one scene from many, depicting a quote from the fanciful mind of Lewis Carroll," she added. This scene will be featured on the cover of the 26 September issue of the journal Science.
Kunkel said he appreciates that with artistic license, science and art can be combined in an exciting way. "Science and NSF instituted this international competition to reward scientists for using visualization techniques to demonstrate the beauty and wonder of science," said Monica M. Bradford, executive editor of the journal Science. "We appreciate their results and encourage others to participate."
Currently in its sixth year, the international competition honors artists who use visual media to promote our understanding of scientific research. The criteria for judging the entries included visual impact, effective communications, freshness, and originality.
The winning entries communicate information about the creation of spontaneous buckling of a poly(ethylene glycol) layer resembling wrinkles that appear on flowers' petals and leaves' edges; the 3D rendering, at nanometer resolution, of a melanoma cell through ion abrasion electron microscopy; the display of microbial biofilm from a stream, explaining its role within the stream's micro-ecosystem; and, more. The 26 September 2008 issue of Science will feature the winning entries, which will also be freely available at www.sciencemag.org/sciext/vis2008/ and the NSF's website at http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/scivis/.
The 2008 winning entries are included in the following five categories:
Mario De Stefano, The 2nd University of Naples The Glass Forest
Honorable Mentions (tie):
Andrew Davidhazy, Rochester Institute of Technology String Vibrations
Jessica D. Schiffman and Caroline L. Schauer; Drexel University Squid Suckers: The Little Monsters That Feed the Beast
Ye Jin Eun and Douglas B. Weibel; University of Wisconsin-Madison Polymazing
Linda Nye and the Exploratorium Visualization Laboratory; The Exploratorium Zoom Into the Human Bloodstream
Honorable Mentions (tie):
Chris Harrison, Carnegie Mellon University; Christoph Römhild, North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran Church Visualizing the Bible
Donald Bliss and Sriram Subramaniam; National Library of Medicine, NIH 3D Imaging of Mammalian Cells with Ion-Abrasion Scanning Electron Microscopy
Colleen Champ and Dennis Kunkel; Concise Image Studios "Mad Hatter's Tea" from Alice's Adventures in a Microscopic Wonderland
Andrew Dopheide and Gillian Lewis; University of Auckland Stream Micro-Ecology: Life in a Biofilm
Jeremy Friedberg and Tommy Sors; Spongelab Interactive Genomics Digital Lab: Plant Cells
Janet Iwasa; Massachusetts General Hospital Exploring Life's Origins
Honorable Mentions (tie):
Travis Vermilye and Kenneth Eward A Window Into Life
Mirjam Kaplow and Katharina Strohmeier; Fraunhofer FIRST
Smarter than the Worm
Etsuko Uno and Drew Berry; The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Fighting Infection by Clonal Selection
Further information about the 2008 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge is available at http://www.nsf.gov/news/special_reports/scivis/. Please contact Susan Mason at +1-703-292-7748 (phone) or firstname.lastname@example.org (email).
Reporters may request copies of the Science feature, which describes the winning entries, from the AAAS Office of Public Programs' Science Press Package team at +1-202-326-6440 (phone) +1-202-789-0455 (fax) or email@example.com (email).
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