Some of science’s most powerful statements are not made in words. From the diagrams of DaVinci to Rosalind Franklin’s x-rays, visualization of research has a long and literally illustrious history. To illustrate is to enlighten.
How many people would have heard of fractal geometry or the double helix or solar flares if they had been described solely in words? In a world where science literacy is dismayingly rare, illustrations provide the most immediate and influential connection between scientists and other citizens, and the best hope for nurturing popular interest. Indeed, they are now a necessity for public understanding of research developments.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Science created the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge to celebrate that grand tradition–and to encourage its continued growth. The spirit of the competition is for communicating science, engineering and technology for education and journalistic purposes.
Judges appointed by the National Science Foundation and the journal Science will select winners in each of five categories: photographs, illustrations, informational graphics, interactive media and non-interactive media. The winners will be published in a special section of the journal Science and Science Online and on the NSF Web site. One of the winning entries will be on the front cover of Science. In addition, each winner will receive a free, one-year print and on-line subscription to the journal Science and a certificate of appreciation.