The 2023 Photogenic Science contest: iron, dragon’s blood, and a beetle predator
30. 11. 2023
In the tenth jubilee year of the in-house photo contest of the Czech Academy of Sciences, the winner became the photo by Dušan Tichoň from the Institute of Physics of Materials of the CAS entitled “The Life Form of Iron”. All the photographs which were awarded are on view in large format as part of the exhibition at the Science and Art Gallery at the CAS headquarters on Národní Street in Prague until 31 January 2024. Admission is free.
The exhibition was opened by the President of the CAS, Eva Zažímalová, on 27 November 2023. “Once again, this year’s exhibition celebrates the surprising connections, technical possibilities, but also the playfulness and creativity inherent in science and research. Each year, the Photogenic Science project offers the chance to learn about the diversity of research at our Academy through photography. The images showcased here prove that science is not all just white coats, long calculations, complex graphs, and extensive studies,” she said in her opening remarks.
The Photogenic Science exhibition, on view at the CAS headquarters until 31 January 2024.
The aim of the Photogenic Science project is not only to have CAS employees share their talent in photography, but also to introduce science from a wide scope of research disciplines to the general public. That’s why every year, a “people’s choice award” is held as part of the contest online on the social media of the CAS, where the public can vote for their favourite entries.
The winning photos are then also used for promotional purposes in the CAS annual report, on invitations, the New Year greeting card, and the representative calendar of the Academy. Because this year marks the ten-year anniversary of the photo contest, the organisers compiled and published a more than 100-page photo book covering the decade-long project and showcasing both the winning images as well as the stories behind the creation of each ‘photo of the year’, as selected by an expert jury.
The newly published Science through Photography is a collection of all winning photos from the ten-year long history of the Photogenic Science contest.
“During the ten years of the contest, a total of two and a half thousand entries have been submitted and more than seven hundred CAS employees have participated,” said Academy Council member Markéta Pravdová, chair of the expert jury, at the exhibition opening. To make the contest a bit more interesting, a new theme is announced each year for the secondary category – this year’s theme, for instance, was ‘Practical and Impractical Science’. For the first time, the organisers also added the new category of ‘Best Drawing – Illustration’, in which the best work was selected by the public on social media. At the official exhibition opening, the best photographs were also awarded according to their authors’ affiliation to individual scientific fields.
The Photogenic Science contest was initiated by Lenka Vostrá and Michael Komm from the Forum Věda Žije! collective. The contest is organised each year by the Centre of Administration and Operations of the CAS.
Winning Entries of 2023
Jury Award (main category):
1st place – Dušan Tichoň: “The Life Form of Iron” (Institute of Physics of Materials of the CAS)
2nd place – Lukáš Synek: “Dragon Blood Trees in Danger” (Institute of Experimental Botany of the CAS)
3rd place – Philipp Otto Hoenle: “Beetle Predation” (Biology Centre of the CAS)
Jury Award (Best Photo in Research Area I)
Štěpán Gamanov: “Fiery Dislocations” (Institute of Physics of Materials of the CAS)
Jury Award (Best Photo in Research Area II)
Jiří Černý: Triptych – “Hornet”; “I’m Watching You!”; “Fuzzy” (Institute of Molecular Genetics of the CAS)
Jury Award (Best Photo in Research Area III)
Karel Slavíček: “Mayan Pottery” (Institute of Archaeology of the CAS, Brno)
Jury Award (secondary category – Practical and Impractical Science):
1st place – Pavel Lisý: “Shovelling” (Institute of Geology of the CAS)
2nd place – Andrea Smith: “Polarized View” (Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS)
3rd place – Jakub Hardt: “What We Tread On” (Biology Centre of the CAS)
Academy Council of the CAS Award
Lukáš Synek: “Dragon Blood Trees in Danger” (Institute of Experimental Botany of the CAS)
People’s Choice Award (online voting – Instagram, Drawing – Illustration category)
Marija Milosavljević: “All Aboard!” (Biology Centre of the CAS)
People’s Choice Award (online voting – Facebook)
Dana Dvořáčková-Malá: “Dyer’s Chamomile in Full Bloom” (Experimental medieval garden of the Institute of History of the CAS and Archeo-open-air Museum Curia Vítkov, Institute of History of the CAS)
All photos entered into this year’s contest can be viewed on the Photogenic Science website.
Prepared by: Viktor Černoch, External Relations Division, CAO of the CAS
Translated by: Tereza Novická, External Relations Division, CAO of the CAS
Photo: Photogenic Science; Jana Plavec, External Relations Division, CAO of the CAS
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The Czech Academy of Sciences (the CAS)
The mission of the CAS
The primary mission of the CAS is to conduct research in a broad spectrum of natural, technical and social sciences as well as humanities. This research aims to advance progress of scientific knowledge at the international level, considering, however, the specific needs of the Czech society and the national culture.
President of the CAS
Prof. Eva Zažímalová has started her second term of office in May 2021. She is a respected scientist, and a Professor of Plant Anatomy and Physiology.
She is also a part of GCSA of the EU.