Royal Society Publishing and Royal Photographic Society join forces for annual Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition

31 May 2024

The Royal Society and Royal Photographic Society (RPS) have partnered for the annual Royal Society Publishing Photography Competition. The competition, which opens for entries today, celebrates the power of photography in capturing scientific phenomena happening all around us. Previous winners have captured iridescent fungi growing within an autumn leaf, quantum droplets bouncing in unison, and rare photospheric ‘diamonds’ that appear during a solar eclipse.

In addition to a cash prize up to £1000, as part of the collaboration, category winners will receive a one-year Royal Photographic Society Membership. Winning entries will also be showcased through the RPS’s networks, bringing science to a wider audience and fostering a deeper appreciation for the natural world.

Rod Cookson, Publishing Director at the Royal Society, said:  “Like great photographs, groundbreaking scientific discoveries can be made when seemingly ordinary objects are looked at from a different perspective. The Royal Society Publishing Photography competition has highlighted some incredible images that show our natural world in a new light, and we are excited to bring science to new audiences through our partnership with the Royal Photographic Society.”

Hugh Turvey, Chair of the Royal Photographic Society science committee, will join the judging panel for 2024. His work using x-ray photography to capture every-day objects is internationally acclaimed, and he will bring his extensive experience bridging the gap between art and science to the judging panel. He said: 

“For 30 years, I've delved beneath the surface, using photography to reveal the invisible. There's a captivating thrill in a scientific breakthrough, a 'Eureka!' moment where the veil is lifted on a hidden reality.

“Photography, since its invention, has been a vital tool in capturing these decisive moments which nourish our scientific collective consciousness. 

“I am delighted to be a part of the Royal Society Publishing Photography competition this year and to help bring science to a wider audience.”

The competition is free to enter and open to anyone studying or working in science at graduate level or above. Winners are awarded in each of the five categories (astronomy, behaviour, earth science and climatology, ecology and environmental science, and microimaging), with the overall winner taking home a grand prize of £1000. Entries close on 23 August 2024.