The Materials Research Society (MRS), headquartered in Warrendale, Pennsylvania, was established in 1973 to promote interdisciplinary, goal-oriented basic research on materials of technological importance and it is a growing, vibrant member-driven organization of almost 16,000 scientists from over 90 countries. During their biannual meetings, where scientists – from students to Nobel laureates – have the opportunity to exchange ideas and discuss recent advancements in materials research, the MRS organizes Science as Art competitions with entry open to all registered meeting attendees.
The majority of submitted artwork is centred around visualization methods, which provide an important tool in materials science – and many other sciences – for the analysis and presentation of scientific work. As such, images can often convey information in a way that numbers or equations are unable to match. The MRS elegantly summarizes this aspect on their website:
“Occasionally, scientific images transcend their role as a medium for transmitting information and contain the aesthetic qualities that transform them into objects of beauty and art.”
In addition, the power of visualizing science is key to communicating science to the broad public and science-driven art can play a central role in this matter.
A lot of the featured images here were captured using scanning electron microscopy, a powerful technique that utilizes a beam of electrons to generate high-resolution images that reveal details less than one billionth of a meter – a nanometer – apart.
Of note, one of the winners of the Fall 2013 edition includes Wim Noorduin whose work was recently featured on The Pipetteer!
More stunning science-inspired art can be found at the Materials Research Society.
The video below features some of the best entries from past MRS Science as Art competitions.
Copyright for these images belongs to the Materials Research Society.