April 2014
Contents / home
FameLabSA 2014
Science Lens winners
Young, innovative and gifted
Intern receives Fellowship in Paris
Transformation in marine science
Looking for the brainiacs of yesteryear
Skies alive with space activities
Training the trainers
On your marks ... Get SET Go!
Schools debates advisory committee
Science community volunteers
The science of giving back
New science communication resource
Bringing nanotech to the disabled
Meet media guru Daryl Ilbury
Water World @ Scifest Africa 2014
Exploring marine science
Sharks, vegetables and alien fish
SAIAB cares
In the news
Upcoming events
It's a fact!

Science Lens entries impress

 
  "Distortion" by Kim Van Zyl makes use of the phenomenon of surface tension to create a visual artwork
 
  "Starry, Starry Night" by Albe Carina Swanepoel shows red blood cells appearing as starry objects
 
  Thomas Otto Whitehead captured the very rare phenomenon of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in cloud structures
 
  "Solving the Problem of Polluted Mine Water" by Nicholas Cullinan shows a postgraduate student engrossed in his experiment
 
  "Society's Resources" by Morgan Trimble captures a moment in a scientific study of the structure of fisheries in the Bangweulu Wetlands of northern Zambia
The winners of the 2013/2014 Southern African Science Lens competition have been announced. This round saw the number of entries more than double from the previous round in 2011.

The striking array of photographs made it a difficult task for the judges to select the top entries. The judges were not only impressed by the high quality of the photographs, but also by the stories behind the images (covering a diverse range of interesting scientific topics and activities) and by the fascinating work being done in research in Southern Africa.

The popular categories drawing the most entries were the consistent categories of Science as Art, Science Close-up and Science in Action. However, this round's special categories of Science in Society and International Year of Water Cooperation also drew different styles of photographs and opened up possibilities for a broader variety of photographs and the communication of the stories behind those photographs.

The competition saw new talent in science communication emerging, with the youngest winner being Nicholas Cullinan, a grade 12 learner from Cape Town, for a photograph he took while job shadowing a research group at the University of Cape Town.

We congratulate the winners

Science as Art: "Distortion" by Kim Van Zyl, which made use of the phenomenon of surface tension to create a visual artwork. Judges' comments included "an excellent use of creative lighting and angles to take an everyday object and turn it into a work of art".

Science Close-Up: "Starry, Starry Night" by Albe Carina Swanepoel, which showed an unusual sight of red blood cells appearing as starry objects, and explained the biology behind it.

Science in Action: "Kelvin-Helmholtz" by Thomas Otto Whitehead, who captured the very rare phenomenon of Kelvin-Helmholtz instability in cloud structures.

Science in Society: "Society's Resources" by Morgan Trimble who, in capturing a moment in a scientific study of the structure of fisheries in the Bangweulu Wetlands of northern Zambia, showed how researchers and communities can work together. Judges said "A very well shot image with creative angles and lighting that tells a fascinating story - the viewer will always want to know more".

International Year of Water Cooperation: "Solving the Problem of Polluted Mine Water" by Nicholas Cullinan, which showed a postgraduate student engrossed in his experiment, observing Eutectic Freeze Crystallisation, a technique that can be used to recover salt from industrial brine solutions, simultaneously producing pure water.

Full details of the winners, runners-up and highly commended photos are available on SAASTA's website.

Communicating science through photographs

While the Southern African Science Lens competition aims to encourage scientists to communicate their work and to see the opportunity for communicating their work through photographs, it also encourages photography enthusiasts to look for, and to connect with the science in their environment. It creates an opportunity to bring scientists and photographers or photography enthusiasts, as artists, together to create an effective tool for communicating science.

By Joanne Riley, Science Editor, SAASTA