Find out who won our Cosmic Collections competition.

Cosmic Champions

Last October, we launched a competition to release hundreds of stories from the Cosmos & Culture exhibition on to the web. We invited astronomy enthusiasts, designers and web developers to create their own websites with our objects – and the results are now in.

There were two competitions, to create websites for adults and for the 11-16 age group. We didn’t get enough entries in the second group to award a prize, but the quality of the entries in the adult group was so high that we’ve decided to award an extra prize for that.

Overall winner (£1000 prize)

Simon Willison and Natalie Down
Entry at
The judges felt that Simon and Natalie’s entry made the best use of our collections data, as it allows users to browse objects by people, places and celestial body, making links between them. Judge Chris Lintott describes it as 'having a wikipedia-like quality of sucking the user in for just one more click'.

Runner-up (£750 prize)

Ryan Ludwig
Entry at
The judges were really impressed with the visual appeal of Ryan’s entry, particularly the image gallery with thumbnails and zoom function.

The judges also commended Ray Shah’s entry (, particularly the function for users to add their own data.

What happens next?

We’ll be working with our winners to incorporate the best aspects of their entries into a finished product. We will be launching it on the Science Museum’s website in February, so watch this space!


1) The competition judges were:

Christian Heilmann
A geek and hacker at heart, Christian Heilmann has been a professional web developer for about eleven years. He has been nominated "standards champion of the year 2008" by .net magazine in the UK and he currently sports the fashionable job title "International Developer Evangelist" spending his time speaking and training people on systems provided by Yahoo and other web companies that want to make this web thing work well for everybody.

Chris Lintott
Chris Lintott is a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Physics at the University of Oxford. His research looks at the analysis of star formation, including being principal investigator for the Galaxy Zoo project. He is also co-presenter on the Sky at Night program alongside Sir Patrick Moore.

2) Entries to the competition were assessed under the following categories:

  • Use of collections data
  • Creativity
  • Accessibility
  • User experience
  • Ease of deployment and maintenance

3) The Cosmos & Culture exhibition is supported by the Patrons of the Science Museum with additional support from the Science & Technology Facilities Council, STFC.

Related content