The University is sponsoring an “Art of Science” competition open to all members of the Princeton community with the theme of “energy,” broadly defined. Submissions are limited to digital images and the deadline for entries is 11:59 a.m., April 12, 2010.

There is no cost to enter the competition.

“Given Princeton’s deep strengths in cross-disciplinary energy research and the recent establishment of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, we felt that energy would be a terrific topic for Art of Science 2010,” said Adam Finkelstein, associate professor of computer science and a co-organizer of the competition.

Co-organizer Andrew Zwicker, who is the head of Science Education at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory (PPPL) and a lecturer in the Princeton Writing Program, said that energy is arguably the single most important concept in all of science.

“Nearly every system is defined by how it regulates the production and consumption of energy whether it is as small as a single-cell organism or as large as a galaxy,” Zwicker said. “On a more practical scale, how this country consumes and produces energy is not only a crucial scientific question but it is also clearly a political and sociological one. For all of these reasons and more, it seemed particularly appropriate to choose energy as the theme for the 2010 Art of Science competition.”

The organizers are soliciting images made in the course of scientific research that have aesthetic value. This “found art” might include photographs from a microscope or a telescope; photographs taken for purposes of field research; images generated by computer simulations; 3D renderings of data sets; and data plots. It also may include photographs of physical objects related to science, such as a piece of equipment.

Entries should be scientific images created during an actual research project, rather than art that is inspired by science.

Jurors for the competition include President Shirley M. Tilghman; Dean of the Faculty David Dobkin, Phillip Y. Goldman ’86 Professor in Computer Science; Paul Muldoon, Howard G.B. Clark ’21 University Professor in the Humanities, director of the Princeton Atelier, and chair of the Lewis Center for the Arts; the photographer Emmet Gowin; and James Steward, director of the Princeton University Art Museum.

Cash prizes will be given to the top three winners of the competition: $250 for first place, $154.51 for second; and $95.49 for third. These amounts are derived according to the golden ratio, a mathematical proportion that has been found in aesthetically pleasing designs, from seashells to ancient Greek temples.

Sponsors of the competition are the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, PPPL, the Lewis Center for the Arts, and the Office of the Dean for Research.

The awards will be announced at an opening reception May 7 in the Friend Center, where images selected from the competition will remain on display for a year. Images selected for the Art of Science 2010 show also will be featured in an online gallery. Submission information can be found at the Art of Science website:

This is the University’s fourth Art of Science competition. Online galleries for previous years can be found here:

For media inquiries about the Art of Science 2010 competition, contact Teresa Riordan,