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News Release 16-081

Submit your entry for 15th anniversary Vizzies scientific visualization challenge

National Science Foundation, Popular Science seek fresh, original entries

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In its 15th year, the Vizzies is now a national contest.

July 6, 2016

This material is available primarily for archival purposes. Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Unique scientific visualizations from researchers and the public are now being accepted for the 2017 Vizzies challenge, the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Popular Science magazine announced today.

The competition, in its 15th year, recognizes the finest science and engineering-themed illustrations, photographs, videos, graphics and interactive displays, whether produced by academic researchers, artists or hobbyists. All submissions are eligible to win in both the Experts' Choice and People's Choice categories.

To recognize and encourage visualization in communicating science, and to showcase the exceptional talents of those who work in this area, NSF and Science magazine cosponsored the first annual Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge in 2003. NSF and Popular Science launched their new partnership as co-sponsors in 2014.

The Vizzies uses visualizations to express the ideas of scientists and engineers in new and powerful ways. In the contest’s early years, participants sent in submissions by mail, which meant packages of all shapes and sizes containing sculptures, board games, physical posters, artists’ drawings, paintings and more. Today, participants are encouraged to review the challenge rules and submit their entries to the Vizzies’ online submission system found on the Vizzies website.

A panel of experts in scientific visualizations appointed by NSF and Popular Science will select one Experts' Choice winner per category in each of five categories: Photography, Illustration, Posters & Graphics, Interactives and Video. Public votes will determine People's Choice winners.

The judging criteria includes:

  • Visual Impact: A successful entry provides viewers with new scientific insight, is visually striking and conveys the artist's skill and expertise in the chosen medium. It conveys the artist's mastery of the fundamentals and principles of design, and is executed with factual accuracy.

  • Effective Communication: A successful entry communicates clearly and understandably. It uses plain language -- both written and spoken -- in the entry itself and its accompanying text. An entry also must convey science, technology, engineering or mathematics principles.

  • Freshness and Originality: A successful entry has an individual voice, vitality and energy; creates a novel presentation or tells a compelling story; and portrays new scientific insight and methods.

To learn more about the competition -- including rules and regulations -- and submit your scientific visualization, visit the Vizzies website.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8485, email:
Molly Battles, Popular Science, (212) 779-5112, email:

The National Science Foundation (NSF) is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2019, its budget is $8.1 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 50,000 competitive proposals for funding and makes about 12,000 new funding awards.

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