[Geowanking] National Science Foundation Visualization Challenge
R E Sieber
resieber at gmail.com
Thu Jun 12 12:32:10 PDT 2008
This may be of interest to some.
Science and engineering visualization challenge (National Science
Frankly, I find their winning entries uninspiring in terms of new
technologies (e..g, look at their FAQs, which are incredibly snarky).
However, winning in one of these categories -- I'm guessing the info
graphics one would be right for geowankers -- would look very good on
BTW, it is open to international entries.
Some of science’s most powerful statements are not made in words. From
the diagrams of DaVinci to Hooke’s microscopic bestiary, the beaks of
Darwin’s finches, Rosalind Franklin’s x-rays or the latest photographic
marvels retrieved from the remotest galactic outback, visualization of
research has a long and literally illustrious history. To illustrate is,
etymologically and actually, to enlighten.
You can do science without graphics. But it’s very difficult to
communicate it in the absence of pictures. Indeed, some insights can
only be made widely comprehensible as images. How many people would have
heard of fractal geometry or the double helix or solar flares or
synaptic morphology or the cosmic microwave background, if they had been
described solely in words?
To the general public, whose support sustains the global research
enterprise, these and scores of other indispensable concepts exist
chiefly as images. They become part of the essential iconic lexicon. And
they serve as a source of excitement and motivation for the next
generation of researchers.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) and Science created the Science
and Engineering Visualization Challenge to celebrate that grand
tradition—and to encourage its continued growth. 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:
In an increasingly graphics-oriented culture, where people acquire the
majority of their news from TV and the World Wide Web, a story without a
vivid and intriguing image is often no story at all.
We urge you and your colleagues to contribute to the next competition
and to join us in congratulating the winners.
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 Sept. 26, 2008 issue 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 finalist will receive a
free, one-year print and on-line subscription to the journal Science and
a certificate of appreciation.
Entries for 2008 are being solicited now. We urge all researchers and
science communicators to participate in this unique and inspiring
More information about the Geowanking