Winners of WSC: Image sets

The following post list the winners of WSC 2017.

Comment from the jury:  Food is a universal topic and a good starting point to catch the attention of a viewer. So is art. The images highlight the extraordinary beauty of the microbial world essential to our survival. Without it, there would be no life, neither vegetal nor animal. We are surrounded by bacteria and molds that in silence transform our food but also transform matter into works of art. As a result, these images are not only scientifically accurate and clear, they are also very versatile for education, outreach, and even citizen science. They show the nature of microorganisms, the complexity of the ecosystem, the challenges of hygiene in food production.

Comment from the author (Stefania Rizzelli): I’m a Bio Artist and I deal with chemical and microbiological analysis on food in a laboratory based in my hometown, Modena, in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, considered by many to be the heart of Northern Italian food districts.

My – peculiar – art consists in capturing the fascinating world of microbes and impressing them on photographic prints destined to scientific – and artistic – dissemination. I find the art of nature simply fascinating for its spontaneity and the ability to communicate in an amazing way.

When I first started my actual job, my enthusiasm was so palpable that I almost immediately thought in developing a scientific project associated with art that “could be eaten”. With my microbiological experience, I began to experiment with various foods such as dairy products, cereals, meats, etc., photographing everything that the bacteria themselves created.

After about two years of research, with a careful selection of almost 500 shots of various bacterial species, I started the project “The invisible art of bacteria”, with the aim to talk about the importance of the microbial world. This project tries to overcome the prejudicial description of microorganisms as enemies, proposing a positive and proactive approach that unfolds both on the scientific side and on the artistic side, underlining the crucial importance that the bacteria take on human, animal and plant life.

In December 2017, during a search on Wikipedia, through a banner, I became aware of the “Wiki Science Competition”: it has been a great opportunity to spread my project all over the world!

Microscopic images of bacteria and molds grown on food.
Author: Stefania Rizzelli from Italy.


This image is created from eight images shot in sequence as a tornado formed north of Minneola, Kansas on May 24, 2016. This prolific supercell went on to produce at least 12 tornadoes and at times had two and even three tornadoes on the ground at once. Jason Weingart from the USA.


Liquid crystal textures. Alexprague from the Czech Republic.


Microscope images with polarized light. PW31 from the USA.

Seeds of various plants. Alexander Klepnev from Russia.


Bridge cells. from Italy.


Petrographic images of rocks and minerals. Alessandro Da Mommio from Italy.

Images were published under CC BY 4.0 or CC BY-SA 4.0 licenses.