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‘Art of Science' Contest Winners Share UC San Diego Labs' Most Beautiful Discoveries

Part art exhibit, part science project, Art of Science is on view now at the San Diego Natural History Museum and UC San Diego's WongAvery Library

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"Science and art are not opposed" — Samuel Morse

Morse knew whereof he spoke. Not only did the 19-century figure invent the telegraph, he was also a painter and sculptor. And as a photographer during the birth of that representational art, he would likely be among the first to embrace the idea of Art and Science, a UC San Diego "program aimed at celebrating the beauty that can emerge during scientific research at UC San Diego and beyond."

Art of Science is technically an annual contest entered by students, researchers and affiliates of the university in La Jolla, in which applicants submit graphics or images and accompanying captions that tell "a story about their research" in a way that is approachable and understandable by, well, the rest of us.

In 2022, like in years past, the winning entries found a home not only at the UC San Diego Library but also at a second one in an exhibition in Balboa Park at the Nat — the San Diego Natural History Museum, which invites guests to "see the beauty that can emerge from scientific research," or as the website puts it, "Data is beautiful and science has style."

"The contest was originally created to raise awareness of the library's research data curation services … and has evolved into a program that serves multiple audiences and scientific disciplines," Audrey Geisel University Librarian Erik Mitchell is quoted, in part, in a news release sent out by the school.

There were five winners (and three honorable mentions) selected from 2022's entries, including one from Anne Lyons, a doctoral student from the department of bioengineering who contributed "Energy Worms: Watch an Energy Regulator on Mitochondria, Cellular Powerhouses That Go Wherever Energy Is Needed."

"The Art of Science contest gave me the opportunity to articulate my research in an accessible manner," Lyon is quoted in the same news release. "It's a true privilege to share a glimpse of the captivating activities occurring inside cells."

Dueling duplicate exhibitions are on view now in the Nat's first-floor gallery and in the breezeway at UC San Diego's WongAvery Library.

Can the San Diego Museum of Art be far behind?

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