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News Release 15-014

NSF and Popular Science announce 2015 Vizzies winners

Visualizations bring a new level of scientific understanding

Poster of Hippocampal Neurons with seahorse like shapes

Hippocampal Neurons is an Expert Choice awardee in the Posters and Graphics category.

February 17, 2015

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Today the National Science Foundation (NSF) and Popular Science magazine announced the winners of The Vizzies.

The awards mark completion of the first NSF and Popular Science challenge collaboration that celebrates the use of visual media to clearly and accessibly communicate scientific data and research. NSF has led the competition for more than a decade under a different name: the International Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge.

This year's Vizzies continue the tradition of honoring work that visually and successfully communicate science and engineering research and phenomena. The Vizzies recognize the finest illustrations, photographs, videos, graphics and apps, whether produced by academic researchers, artists or hobbyists.

"We couldn't be more pleased with this year's submissions," said Dana Topousis, NSF's acting director of Legislative and Public Affairs. "These visualizations are able to bring people a new level of scientific understanding in impactful and imaginative ways."

"The best visualizations communicate complex subjects with evocative images, enlightening illustrations and engrossing interactive media--all things we value tremendously at Popular Science," said Editor-in-Chief Cliff Ransom. "This year's winners elegantly and approachably combine art and science."

During two rounds of judging, science and visualization experts at NSF and Popular Science winnowed more than 300 entries, from more than 12 countries, down to 50 finalists, 10 in each category. To arrive at the Experts' Choice, a panel of final-round judges rated the visualizations on their artistic merit and communication excellence. Readers voted online for the People's Choice.

The winners are from China, Great Britain, Utah, New York and California.

Without further ado, here are the honorees (please visit or for the full package):


Experts' Choice:

Ted Kinsman

False-Color X-Ray of a Snapping Turtle

People's Choice:

Elizabeth Marchionado and Andrew Gillis

Alcian Blue and Alizarin Red Chameleon


People's Choice and Experts' Choice:

Matteo Farinella



Experts' Choice:

Yan Liang, Xiangang Tao, Wei Huang, Edison (Qi) Zheng and Jiyuan Liu

Beautiful Chemistry

People's Choice, Best Overall:
Larry Howell, Julie Walker, Robert Lang, Spencer Magleby and Brian Wilcox

How Origami Is Inspiring Scientific Creativity

Posters and Graphics

Experts' Choice:

Robert Clark

Hippocampal Neurons

People's Choice:

Kristin Timm, Shad O'Neal, Allison Bidlack and Eran Hood

From Icefield to Ocean

Games and Apps

Experts' Choice:

Roger Anguera-Singla, Adam Gazzaley, Rajat Jain, Tim Mullen, Christian Kothe, John Fesenko, Oleg Konings, Matt Omernickand David Ziegler


People's Choice:

Goddard Space Flight Center's NASA Viz Group; Helen-Nicole Kostis, project manager

NASA Visualization Explorer


Media Contacts
Bobbie Mixon, NSF, (703) 292-8485, email:
Molly Battles, Popular Science, (212) 779-5112, 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 2023 budget of $9.5 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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