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News Release 05-167

Science Magazine and NSF Announce 2005 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge Winners

Winning entries appear in the Sept. 23 issue of the journal Science

The Synapse Revealed

The Synapse Revealed

September 26, 2005

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 Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

Sometimes the best way to express a scientific idea is through an image that grabs the eye.

Nine entries, each telling a scientific story with a careful balance of accuracy and beauty, have won the 2005 Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, sponsored jointly by the National Science Foundation and the journal Science, published by the nonprofit science society, AAAS.

Currently in its third year, the contest recognizes outstanding achievement in the use of visual media to promote understanding of research results and scientific phenomena. The judges' criteria for evaluating the entries included visual impact, innovation and accuracy.

The winning entries communicate information about the brilliant spectrum of fluorescing molecules, the fleeting moment when one neuron prepares to signal another, the spectacular emergence of the 17-year cicada, and more. A news story in the Sept. 23, 2005 issue of Science presents all of the entries. Winning entries may also be viewed on the magazine's web site and on the NSF web site.

The winning entries are in five categories:


First Place: Graham Johnson, Graham Johnson Medical Media, The Synapse Revealed


First Place: Cheryl Aaron, Omega Optical, Inc., Fluoressence: The Essence of Fluorescence


First Place: James S. Aber, Emporia State University, Autumn Color, Estonian Bog


Honorable Mention: Tracy M. Sterling, New Mexico State University, Transpiration: Water Movement Through Plants


First Place: Roger Hangarter and Samuel Orr, Indiana University, Return of the 17-Year Cicadas

Note: A web version of this movie, plus a "Science News for Kids" story about this entry, is available online at the EurekAlert! Kids Portal.

Honorable Mentions:

Mogi Massimo Vicentini, Civico Planetario Di Milano, Planetary Motion From Euxodus to Copernicus

Steve Deyo, Kevin Fuell, Katherine Olson, Dan Riter and Seth Lamos, UCAR/COMET, Rip Currents: Nearshore Fundamentals

Evan Ricks and Tim Sassoon, National Geographic TV & Film, Forces of Nature

Nina Amenta, University of California, Davis, Evolutionary Morphing: Statistical Interpolation of Ancestral Morphology


The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) is the world's largest general scientific society, and publisher of the journal, Science. AAAS was founded in 1848, and serves some 262 affiliated societies and academies of science, serving 10 million individuals. Science has the largest paid circulation of any peer-reviewed general science journal in the world, with an estimated total readership of one million. The non-profit AAAS is open to all and fulfills its mission to "advance science and serve society" through initiatives in science policy; international programs; science education; and more.

Program Contacts
Susan Mason, NSF, (703) 292-7748, email:

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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