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As part of celebrating the 10th Anniversary of CICASP, and to reaffirm our commitment to promoting good science communication, we hosted a Scientific Visual Storytelling Contest during the 12th PWS Symposium. The goal of a scientific visual story is to inform an audience, which may be mostly non-scientists, about issues that scientists think are important. Images, rather than a lot of text, are used as the main medium to make the story more stimulating and easier to understand for a broader audience than would otherwise be possible.
Earlier this year, CICASP offered a series of science communication workshops on this very topic, in which participants (mainly graduate students and interns) drafted their own visual stories and gave feedback to one another. Several of the participants then developed their stories further and entered the contest. Their contributions ranged from an impactful comic strip that raised awareness about the illegal pet trade of slow lorises (top image; by Josué Alejandro) to an entertaining look into a day in the life of a graduate student.
Based on popular votes by the symposium attendees, a People's Choice Award was given to Himani Nautiyal, a doctoral student at PRI. Her beautiful illustrations challenged the viewer to think about how people and Himalayan langurs can coexist. A special award by a panel of invited experts on science communication was given to Louie Ueno-Nigh, a masters student at PRI, for his vivid depiction of the unique behaviors of marmosets that he takes care of.
People's Choice Award winner Himani Nautiyal with her visual story, and the award (T-shirt with Ai's drawing). [Photo credit: Andrew MacIntosh]
Science Communication Panel's Award winner Louie Ueno-Nigh (left) and his visual story (right, held by S. Tomiya). [Photo credit: Andrew MacIntosh]
We were impressed and enlightened by all of the works submitted to this contest, and hope to host similar events in the future!