The Wikipedia photo contest around science


Looking for great images.
Photo by Mati Kose. Estonian Science Photo Competition 2013. CC BY-SA 3.0.

The Wiki Science Competition (WSC) is an international photo contest for the sciences. It is organised by Wikimedia, that is the movement behind Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia – a global collaboration authored by volunteers.

The WSC was brought to life to encourage the creation and, especially, the free sharing of all sorts of imagery about the sciences. It takes place once in two years in November.

The WSC happens at two levels: national and international. It means that in many countries there will be a national contest with its own jury and prizes (more from here). Winning pictures will advance to the international final, and will be judged by the international jury to choose the overall winners.

Participation from countries where there is no national organising team is still possible. Those uploads would go to the other countries’ list and there would be a second international jury, that will choose the candidates for the international final from that “country”. The goal is that all the photographers in the world have the possibility to participate in the competition.

Any support is welcome: from uploading a single image, or spreading the word about the contest, to becoming a partner or sponsor. This November, scientific images will be in the spotlight on Wikipedia! Check the rules and access the upload forms from here.

Image categories

The competition has seven image categories: People in Science, Microscopy images, Non-photographic media, Image sets, Wildlife & nature, Astronomy, and General category.

Authors: Archeologia.chodlik (POL) | Heiti Paves (EST) | European Southern Observatory /L. Calçada | Ольга Яковлевна Куликова (RUS)
(all of the images above have the CC SA-BY license)

If your images are suitable for a scientific article or to illustrate an encyclopedia or newspaper article, then they are also suitable for this competition.


International flyer for download

The competition was first organised in Estonia, and it expanded to all of Europe in 2015. European Science Photo Competition resulted in the addition of 9793 freely licensed images by over 2200 participants to Wikimedia Commons that can now be used in Wikipedia and by anybody for any purpose.

2017 was the first time the competition was organised all around the world. Similarly, it attracted over 2200 participants. This time 22 countries were involved in organising and the image count was over 10 000.

As WSC is a biennial competition, then the next competition after 2017 took place in late 2019. This time there were local organizing teams in 14 countries. One more image category was added (Wildlife & nature).

WSC is once again held in 2021. One more image category is being added (Astronomy).

In 2023 the additional option is that countries could run an article competition besides the image competition.


For the 2017 edition of the Wiki Science Competition, 3000 € of prize money was divided among the winners. For the 2019 edition, the WSC prize fund was 5100 €, and in 2021 it was 5600 €.


The top 15 countries with the most uploads of valid images in 2017 were:

Country Uploads
Russia 1933
United States 1258
Ukraine 1105
India 1095
Iran 793
Italy 760
Poland 350
Thailand 264
Saudi Arabia 208
Georgia 192
Brazil 173
Estonia 144
Spain 138
Greece‎ 112
Czech Republic‎ 111

Upload images!