The Aesthetics of Scientific Discovery

Art of Science winners share the beauty of science through imagery describing some aspect of their research

Seeking to encourage researchers to express the joy of scientific discovery through aesthetics, UC Santa Barbara again held its Art of Science competition. About 1,400 members of the campus community voted in the fourth annual contest sponsored by the Schuller Lab, the Center for Science and Engineering Partnerships at the California NanoSystems Institute, the College of Creative Studies and the Library.

From the 56 entries, four winners and six honorable mentions were chosen.

Graduate students took win, place and show. Nicole Leung and Tyler Ogunmowo of the Craig Montell Lab received first place for “Neuronas o árboles?” Arif Gungor, who works with Nadir Dagli, vice chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was awarded second place for “Crack Range.” Lucy Holtsnider and her husband, Zion Klos, a postdoctoral scholar in Naomi Tague’s lab at UCSB’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management, won third-place honors for “Climate Odyssey.”

The People’s Choice award was presented to undergraduate student Marine Minasyan, who works with Cyrus Safinya in the Materials Research Lab, for “A Sea of Lipid Flowers.”

Honorable mentions went to graduate students Humberto Forondo, Mike Garcia, Amanda Kautzman and Elisabeth Steel, and postdoctoral scholars Delany Rodriguez and Ian Williams.

All the artwork will be exhibited at the Library beginning July 28.

The Art of Science initiative recognizes the creative and experimental nature of science and challenges researchers to visually communicate the beauty inherent in scientific investigations. Participants in the competition use everything from photographs to spectroscopic images to data visualizations to reflect their discoveries.

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