Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Scientific Images Bring Research to Life, Online and in Person


By Sarah Grady, Editor and Communications Specialist at Science in Society and Violeta Ilik, Head, Digital Systems and Collection Services at Galter Library

DigitalHub has partnered with Science in Society, the University’s research center for science education and public engagement, to host a gallery of both current and past winners of the annual Northwestern Scientific Images Contest.

Kelly Jarvis, a graduate student in the lab of Michael Markl, the Lester B. and Frances T. Knight Professor of Cardiac Imaging, recently won the 2016 contest with her image, “Blood Flow through the Heart”.

Jarvis’ image and the other prize-winners were unveiled during an opening night gallery reception held November 7 at Evanston Township High School (ETHS). The winning images, selected by a panel of judges, represent both scientific data from Northwestern labs and visually arresting artworks. Showcasing the interdisciplinary innovation and creativity, the contest winners this year represent fields including nanotechnology, astrophysics, and the life sciences.

Other winners from the Northwestern Medicine community include:

While Science in Society has run the Scientific Images Contest and its attendant exhibitions and events since 2010, this year marked the launch of the online Science in Society Collection, making these eye-catching scientific images available in DigitalHub.

back to top

Partnership between Science in Society and DigitalHub

The partnership between Science in Society and Galter Health Sciences Library started late last summer when the DigitalHub team contacted Science in Society for permission to use some of the previous winners on the homepage of DigitalHub, the institutional repository for the Northwestern Medicine community.

Since then, the teams have worked together to build permanent, online collections of both winning images from this and previous years, including last year’s 1st place image, a collaboration between the Woodruff and Shah labs. The DigitalHub collection has been a valuable collaboration because it assigns persistent, citable identifiers (DOIs) for all the objects deposited, which provides secure and long term preservation, easy citation, and persistent access. DigitalHub has adopted the Creative Commons licenses to help researchers protect their scholarly works and also offers analytics and metrics for deposited items.

Science in Society is committed to helping Northwestern researchers engage with the wider community, and these features were important for long term preservation, citation, and discoverability of the works for a range of audiences and potential users. It is hoped the unique DOIs and other digital identifiers will be of use not only for new viewers to discover these fascinating scientific images, but for researchers to have reliable, citable sources for their visual artifacts.

Science in Society places particular focus on science communication training and outreach. Like their other thirteen science education, outreach, and communication initiatives, the Scientific Images Contest provides winning researchers with dedicated training and support from science communication experts. This includes developing the image captions which attend both the live exhibitions and digital archive. The Science in Society Collection of images and these captions are now available in DigitalHub.


This year’s twelve winning images will tour Chicago and Evanston venues--including the Museum of Science and Industry--over the rest of the academic year. Their next stop is Evanston Public Library from December 1 - January 16.

back to top

Help using DigitalHub

Need help using DigitalHub? Want to upload large datasets? Have a question about what the repository will accept or how you can use it to share your research more widely? Contact us at any time.

back to top

Updated: September 25, 2023