The 2017 Wellcome Image Awards wants to get people interested on how science works. Its shortlisted images are now on public display in galleries around the world.
The aim of Wellcome Image is to get people interested in science. However, they don’t do this through long, boring texts. Instead, awards are given to those who can produce artwork which “engages and communicates” something with the observer.
For Wellcome Image 2017, there are 22 shortlisted images focusing around the theme of “the best in Science image making.” The scientists come artists used many different mediums. Some of these include photos, digital illustrations, and anatomy.
Three of the nominated images also make use of 3D modeling or printing. The finalists were chosen from those uploaded to the Wellcome Images picture library in the last year. Each image was judged on the ability to engage the viewer along with its quality, technique and, of course, visual impact.
The overall winner of the competition was Stickman, The Vicissitudes of Crohn’s (Resolution) by Spooky Pooka. This won the prize of £5,000.
Listen to the judges explain the selection for this year’s awards and how powerful they believe images in science to be:
The 2017 Wellcome Image Awards Winners Using 3D
1. Vessels of a healthy mini-pig eye
This piece was created by Peter M Maloca, Christian Schwaller, Ruslan Hlushchuk and Sébastien Barré. The scientists took this opportunity to make use of 3D printing. Each played an important role in creating the piece which shows a 3D model of a healthy pig eye.
Catherine Draycott, Head of Wellcome Images, explains the appeal of “Vessels of a healthy mini-pig eye”. She said:
“The data gathered to make this 3D print allows the scientist to view the detail and handle it in three dimensions in a way that a 3D screen image cannot do. It’s fascinating to see the ways in which new technologies complement one another in finding out more about how organs work.”
Through producing a 3D model, the scientists were able to show the pupil and blood vessels with great clarity in this healthy pigs’ eye. You can see the image at the top of this page.
2. Language pathways of the brain
This piece was created by Stephanie J Forkel and Ahmad Beyh. They are from Natbrainlab, King’s College London and Alfonso de Lara Rubio, King’s College London.
For this piece, the scientists focused on their specialty; the brain. This 3D printed reconstruction shows the viewer the arcuate fasciculus. This is a pathway which connects distant areas in the brain allowing for information to be processed.
This piece was 3D printed using clear resin and then lit up using colored lights. This is how the image of the 3D print gets its purple color.
You can read more about Stephanie J Forkel and Ahmad Beyh on the Wellcome Image website.
3. Blood vessels of the African gray parrot
This image is of a 3D reconstruction of an African grey parrot. Through this piece, Scott Birch and Scott Echols were able to show the intricate system of blood vessels in the bird.
This piece draws attention to a new contrast agent called BriteVu which was invented by Echols. To create this piece, CT scans and digital imaging were used.
Judge Alice Roberts, Professor of Public Engagement in Science at the University of Birmingham and a clinical anatomist, author, and broadcaster, said: “This wonderfully detailed image, mapping blood vessels in 3D, succeeds in being both beautiful and informative. The ghosted outline of the bird’s head and neck provides context.”
Interested in seeing more of the pieces on display? Head over to Winners’ Gallery. If you want to see these pieces with your own eyes, visit the WellcomeImage website where you can find the exhibitions closest to you. These exhibitions opened on March 16th and will be located across Europe and Africa.
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