Genetics PhD student Rebecca Salamon highlighted in Cool Science Image Contest

Genetics PhD student Rebecca Salamon and faculty member Professor Ahna Skop are both highlighted in the 2021 Cool Science Image Contest.

Rebecca’s image of the nervous system of the mouse heart is one of the winning images [pictured left], using fluorescent antibodies to map cardiac nerves to understand how nerves influence heart function.

Professor Skop, a longtime judge of the contest, is one of nine judges that selected the winning images. “An image often can convey meaning more effectively than words,” says Ahna Skop, an artist and UW–Madison professor of genetics and active ambassador for science. “We know from marketing and education research that adding a picture with words to a slide increases retention of knowledge by 65 percent. The visual communication of science is critical for the transference of knowledge broadly.”

Ten images and two videos created by University of Wisconsin–Madison students, faculty and staff have been named winners of the 2021 Cool Science Image Contest.

A panel of nine experienced artists, scientists and science communicators judged the scientific content and aesthetic and creative qualities of scores of images and videos entered in the 11th annual competition. The winning entries showcase animals and plants, the invisibly small structures all around us, and stars and nebulae millions of millions of miles away.

An exhibit featuring the winners is open to the public at the McPherson Eye Research Institute’s Mandelbaum and Albert Family Vision Gallery on the ninth floor of the Wisconsin Institutes for Medical Research, 111 Highland Ave., through December. A reception — open to the public — for the contest entrants will be held at the gallery on Oct. 7 from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m.

To read the whole story and see the winning images and videos, click here.