The Best Science Visualizations of the Year

Browse through the winning images that turn scientific exploration into art

  • By Laura Helmuth
  • Photo research by Brendan McCabe
  • Smithsonian.com, February 15, 2012

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green antibodies attack a tentacled breast cancer cellillustration of a cell undergoing mitosislayered compound called Ti2ALc2young cucumber magnified 800 timesThe Metabolomic Eyeimagine complex numbers

green antibodies attack a tentacled breast cancer cell

(Image courtesy of Emiko Paul, Echo Medical Media)

The annual International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge, presented by Science magazine and the National Science Foundation, shows off scientists’ artistic side. What makes the winners stand out, says judge Corinne Sandone of Johns Hopkins University, “is the initial visual impact” followed by “a certain depth of information . . . the quality of the image and the aesthetic decisions.”

In one of the more sci-fi of this year’s illustrations, green antibodies attack a tentacled breast cancer cell.

Once a year scientists around the globe submit entries to the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge; read on to see the top 12 entries from this year’s competition.

Sponsored by Science magazine and the National Science Foundation, the visualization challenge centers around creating illustrations, coloring photos, or otherwise creating visual media that enhances interest and understanding of the sciences. The illustration here, by Emiko Paul of Echo Medical Media, illustrates green anti-bodies attacking an alien-looking breast cancer cell.

Hit up the link below for the full image set.

The Best Visualizations of the Year [Smithsonian via Neatorama]

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