The winning pictures of the Foundation’s Photo Competition 2020 have been chosen

24. April 2020

In 2018, the Danish National Research Foundation launched a photo competition with great success. Again this year, Danish scientists have competed for the first prizes. Below you can see this year’s winning pictures and find interviews with the researchers behind. You can also view some of the other fascinating photos submitted to this year’s competition.

Photos have the ability to uncover the world of science in a surprising and inviting way, by revealing its beauty and fascinating appeal. The DNRF would like to share with a broader audience how, each day, scientific discovery advances our knowledge of ourselves and the world we live in. We do this by telling the stories of scientific advances or discoveries with a photo as a visual entry point.

For the third year in a row, the foundation has launched a photo competition based on the potential of photography as documentation and communication of research.

Below, you can see the winning pictures and find links to interviews with the winners, who explain the fascinating research behind the pictures.

You can also see a number of photos from this year’s competition and in the coming months we will display more of the participating photos from this year’s competition so follow us on Twitter and sign up for our newsletter.

  • About the panel's selection:

    Selection criteria:

    • Degree to which the photo evokes emotions in the observer
    • Degree to which the photo works as visual entry point to the story behind the specific research result
    • Aesthetic quality of the photo

    The panel

    • Christine Buhl Andersen, Chair of the New Carlsberg Foundation
    • Louise Wolthers, Research Manager/Curator at the Hasselblad Foundation
    • Minik Rosing, Professor at GLOBE Institute, vice chair aof the DNRF board and board member at Louisiana Museum of Modern Art


First Prize: Young Turbot
by Mads Christoffersen, Senior Consultant, DTU Aqua, Technical University of Denmark

The winning picture in the DNRF's Photo Competition 2020 shows a young turbot, which will soon be released in Roskilde Fjord.
(Click the image for larger version) The winning picture in the DNRF’s Photo Competition 2020 shows a young turbot, which will soon be released in Roskilde Fjord. Photo: Mads Christoffersen, senior consultant, DTU Aqua, Technical University of Denmark

The panel’s review: The small turbot inside the hand expresses a fundamental human care for our fellow creatures. Thus, the picture addresses an important topic at a time when the biological diversity of the earth is threatened. Therefore, it represents the underlying research project in both an empathic and
aesthetically engaged way.

Read the interview with Mads Christoffersen about the science behind the photo here

 

Second Prize: Skeletonized Mouse, Patricia Petersen, staff scientist, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen

The second prize in this year's photo competition goes to a photo of a laboratory mouse that has undergone so-called diaphonization, where an enzyme eats the tissue and expose the rodent's skeleton.
(Click the image for larger version) The second prize in this year’s photo competition goes to a photo of a laboratory mouse that has undergone so-called diaphonization, where an enzyme eats the tissue and expose the rodent’s skeleton. Photo: Patricia Petersen, staff scientist, Novo Nordisk Foundation Center for Basic Metabolic Research, University of Copenhagen.

The Panel’s review: The picture of the skeletonized mouse is extremely well composed and has a fascinating richness of detail. The backbone and the circular tale simply catch the eye of the observer. The small mouse almost bites its own tail as an archetypal illustration of nature’s cycle.

Read the interview with Patricia Petersen about the science behind the photo here

 

Third Prize: The Eye of an Anarctic Icefish, Henrik Lauridsen, Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine and Jesper Skovhus Thomsen, Associate Professor, Institute of Biomedicine, Aarhus University

The picture shows a scan of an eye from the Antarctic ice fish. Researchers are specifically interested in the fish because its blood is missing the protein hemoglobin that normally transports oxygen in the body and colors the blood red.
(Click the image for larger version) The picture shows a scan of an eye from the Antarctic ice fish. Researchers are specifically interested in the fish because its blood is missing the protein hemoglobin that normally transports oxygen in the body and colors the blood red. Photo: Henrik Lauridsen, Assistant Professor, Department of Clinical Medicine and Jesper Skovhus Thomsen, Associate Professor, Institute of Biomedicine, Aarhus University

The panel’s review: The scanned icefish eye creates a spatiality
with a high degree of materiality and structure. The picture is at once decorative
and full of scientific information. The shredded structures indicate the sensitivity
of the eye and the red circle adds mystery to the picture.

Read the interview with Henrik Lauridsen about the science behind the photo here

 

Seven photos selected by the panel

The panel has also highlighted seven participating photos, which according to the panel, all to varying degrees impressed in relation to the competition’s criteria. See the selected pictures in the gallery below.