n many respects, images play an important role in a science museum's exhibition. Images of science may be there to interest and help educate audiences, or to share observations and theoretical interpretations with colleagues.
The public at large are well aware of the art aspects of photography, but not so well informed about the important role that it plays in scientific disciplines. No number of words can express or indicate the information that a photograph can. Therefore, scientists have always needed to communicate their discoveries by pictorial documentation in the form of photographs. In fact, the application of photography to science is almost as old as photography itself.
The National Museum of Natural Science, in collaboration with the Museum's Culture & Education Foundation and Scientific American magazine, launched a science photo contest a couple of months ago. Chinese people from Taiwan, Hongkong, Macao, and Mainland China were all welcome to participate in this contest. Indeed, the contest aroused an unexpected echo. We received a huge range of fun science images covering popular subjects such as animals, chemistry, space, technology, biology, nature, experiments, weather, disasters, illusions and the human body. The competition was judged on creativity, aesthetics and photographic quality by a panel of experts comprising the Museum's director, the Foundation's chairman, and the Magazine's chief-editor. After a severe discussion, 60 sets of stunning images were selected from the 375 images collected, while four sets titled 'Seed Dreamland', 'Hello', 'Silent Rock', and 'Rebirth' won the best prizes.
Amazing New Visions: Science Images Exhibition, the major new exhibition of the 60 selected sets of photos, is consequently on view in the Museum's 2nd exhibition gallery. The photographs presented here, ranging from physics, astronomy, chemistry, biology, medicine and global science and many more, depict actual science itself and its unexplained phenomenon. This exhibition provides a showcase for these scientific pictures that explore worlds we can only imagine, and an enjoyment for the aesthetic and conceptual beauty of science as well. Also, either for economic or altruistic reasons, the Museum's staff in the Exhibits Department adopts a three-dimensional aluminum nautilus-shaped frame for the exhibit's elements, that will allow the exhibit to be easily built, installed, and travelled. This exhibition, a combination of life, science, and art, appears innovative, aesthetic, useful, understandable, and environmentally friendly. Ms. Chu De-hwa's, a well-known sculptor in Taiwan, works series of "Ripples" add more glory to the exhibition.
"Our Museum is sensitive to the public interest, and seeks out ideas that serve this interest. We always approve the development of some exhibitions in the hope that they will attract a large and varied audience," said Museum Director Sun Wei-hsin at the exhibition opening reception. "As a member of the competition committee, I was excited and inspired when I saw these stunning pictures. And I believe the other members might be so, too," continued Sun, "Science is actually not so cold and remote as many people thought. Come visit this science images exhibition, you'll explore the beauty of science, which has always being existed in our everyday lives." Sun made his conclusion with thanks going to all the contributors, sponsors and all those who have supported the exhibition.
It is hoped that this exhibition will serve as a showcase for the vast range of applications of photography within modern-day science and a channel for the public to explore the knowledge and fun in science. For further details, and enquires about showing the exhibition, please visit the Museum's official website.
Amazing New Visions: Science Images Exhibition is organized by the National Museum of Natural Science. The Museum also gratefully acknowledge the generous support of TTC, Sanway Ingenuity for Wellness, An-lan Co. Ltd., Giant Co. Ltd., Yuanliao Publishing Co. Ltd., Scientific American, and the Museum's Culture & Education Foundation.