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News Release 14-090

The National Science Foundation and Popular Science launch visualization challenge

Competition unveils new partnership

The Vizzies visualization challenger open

The Vizzies competition runs through Sept. 30, 2014.

August 4, 2014

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 Telephone numbers or other contact information may be out of date; please see current contact information at media contacts.

The National Science Foundation and Popular Science launched their new partnership as co-sponsors of the foundation's long-running Visualization Challenge, now called The Vizzies. The competition, which runs through Sept. 30, 2014, aims to recognize some of the most beautiful visualizations from the worlds of science and engineering.

"We are excited about this new partnership. We love showcasing visualizations and featuring them is a major way we've distinguished ourselves from other publications," said Popular Science's executive editor, Jennifer Bogo. "The partnership also allows us to work alongside NSF, and with our 1.3 million print subscribers and 3-4 million unique visitors to, we can bring both the participants and the competition greater exposure."

The 2014 Visualization Challenge, formerly the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge, will continue the annual tradition of promoting and publically acknowledging work that visually and successfully communicates science and engineering research and phenomena.

"For 11 years, NSF co-sponsored the competition with AAAS' (American Association for the Advancement of Science) journal Science. We were seeking new opportunities to celebrate science visualizations and to expand the competition's reach to broader, public audiences," said NSF's Susan Mason, a key member who helped start the original competition. "We believe this alliance with Popular Science will infuse new energy into the competition and will to take it to the next level."

Visualization Challenge participants can submit their entries in one or more of five categories: Photography, Video, Illustration, Posters & Graphics and Games & Apps. The Experts' Choice winner in each category will be awarded $2,500, and a People's Choice prize of $1,000 goes to the best overall entry.

Expert judges appointed by NSF and Popular Science will select winners in each of the five categories.

Contest results will be publicly announced in Popular Science and on in March 2015, and Popular Photography will recognize the winning photo. NSF will also publish the names of the winners on its website.

Further information about the Vizzies is available at NSF's Visualization Challenge website.


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8485, email:
Perri Dorset, Bonnier Corporation, (212) 779-5001, 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 2021 budget of $8.5 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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