NSF and Popular Science announce winners of 15th annual ‘Vizzies’


Credit: Greg Dunn, Brian Edwards, Will Drinker

Today, Popular Science magazine and the National Science Foundation (NSF) announce the winners of the 15th Annual Vizzies Challenge, celebrating the use of visual media to artfully and clearly communicate scientific data and research.

The competition recognizes the best photographs, videos, illustrations, interactive apps, and posters and graphics produced by academic researchers, artists or hobbyists.

"Congratulations to all of this year's winners, and for everyone who took the time to create Vizzies entries," said NSF Director France Córdova. "Scientific visualizations have an exceptional ability to explain, spark interest and inspire."

"Visual representations are a crucial way to communicate scientific ideas to the public," said Popular Science online director Amy Schellenbaum. "They are a great way to help a larger group of people understand the amazing occurrences taking place right under our noses every day."

A team of experts at NSF and Popular Science pared hundreds of submissions down to 50 finalists; from those 50, a panel of outside experts picked five Expert's Choice winners. Popular Science readers chose five People's Choice winners.

The honorees are listed below. More information, including their visualizations, is available at the NSF winners page or on Popular Science's site.


  • Experts' Choice: "A Hungry Starfish Larva," by William Gilpin, Vivek N. Prakash and Manu Prakash.
  • People's Choice: "The Octobot, a Completely Soft Machine," by Lori K. Sanders, Ryan L. Truby, Michael Wehner, Robert J. Wood and Jennifer A. Lewis.


  • Experts' Choice: "Network Earth," by Mauro Martino and Jianxi Gao.
  • People's Choice: "Planet Nine," by Patrick McPike, Mark SubbaRao and Mike Brown.


  • Experts' Choice: "Self Reflected Under White, Red, and Violet Light," by Greg Dunn, Brian Edwards and Will Drinker.
  • People's Choice: "Zika Virus," by David S. Goodsell.


  • Experts' Choice: "Flyover Country," by Shane Loeffler, Amy Myrbo, Sijia Ai, Reed McEwan and Alex Morrison.
  • People's Choice: "ASL-LEX: A visualization of American Sign Language," by Naomi Caselli, Zed Sevcikova Sehyr, Ariel Cohen-Goldberg, Ben Tanen and Karen Emmorey.

Posters & Graphics

  • Experts' Choice: "Here There Be Robots," by Eleanor Lutz.
  • People's Choice: "Micro-pumping Mechanism of Hummingbirds' Tongues," by Chun Chun Ng.


Media Contact

Rob Margetta
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