Northwestern University Contest Showcases Beauty of Science

Since 2010, Northwestern University has run an annual contest of scientific images that showcases the beauty of often cutting-edge research.

While many people may think of art and science as having little overlap, this competition proves that groundbreaking research can produce striking images that would not look out of place in a gallery.

All of the images come from Northwestern researchers and many are quite simply breathtaking.

  • Kelly Jarvis’ “Blood Flow in Fontan Circulation” won first place.

    Kelly Jarvis’ “Blood Flow in Fontan Circulation” won first place.

  • Second place: “3D-Printed Hyperelastic Bone Spine” by Adam Jakas.

    Second place: “3D-Printed Hyperelastic Bone Spine” by Adam Jakas.

  • Third place: “Angle of Repose” by Austin Isner.

    Third place: “Angle of Repose” by Austin Isner.

  • Fourth place: “The Slow March of Vegetation Stripes” by Karna Gowda.

    Fourth place: “The Slow March of Vegetation Stripes” by Karna Gowda.

  • Fifth place: “Neural Cell Looking for Friends” by Mark McClendon.

    Fifth place: “Neural Cell Looking for Friends” by Mark McClendon.

  • Honorable mention: “Better Together” by Christopher Synatschke.

    Honorable mention: “Better Together” by Christopher Synatschke.

  • Honorable mention: “Nano Nebula” by Michael Whittaker.

    Honorable mention: “Nano Nebula” by Michael Whittaker.

  • Honorable mention: “Waltz of the Filaments” by Jennifer Davis.

    Honorable mention: “Waltz of the Filaments” by Jennifer Davis.

  • Honorable mention: “A Colorful World” by James Hedrick.

    Honorable mention: “A Colorful World” by James Hedrick.

  • Honorable mention: “Magnetic Sunburst” by Christopher Serrano.

    Honorable mention: “Magnetic Sunburst” by Christopher Serrano.

  • Honorable mention: “Galaxy Evolution” by Zachary Hafen.

    Honorable mention: “Galaxy Evolution” by Zachary Hafen.

  • Honorable mention: “Split Woman” by Emily Hoffman.

    Honorable mention: “Split Woman” by Emily Hoffman.

Joining us to talk through some of the best images and the science behind them is Sara Grady, editor of the online magazine Helix produced by the Science in Society research center at Northwestern University–which runs the competition.

More on this story

The 12 best images from the 2016 Scientific Images Contest are currently on display at the Evanston Public Library. Selected by a panel of artists, scientists, and community leaders, the often breathtaking images were produced by researchers at Northwestern University from an array scientific fields. You can learn more about the contest by visiting HELIX, an online magazine produced by NU's Science in Society


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