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Science Museum to host the Royal Photographic Society's inaugural Science Photographer of the Year exhibition

  • Science Museum announces new exhibition as the shortlist for the Royal Photographic Society’s first Science Photographer of the Year competition is revealed
  • A series of stunning scientific photographs to go on display at a free exhibition
  • Winners to be announced in October 2019
Soap bubble structures © Kym Cox © Kym Cox
Soap bubble structures

Science Photographer of the Year
7 October 2019 – 5 January 2020

Free, ticketed

A series of striking photographs of science in action will soon go on display at the Science Museum as part of the Royal Photographic Society’s inaugural Science Photographer of the Year competition.
From 7 October 2019, this free exhibition will bring together science and art in a stunning showcase of images celebrating the wonders of the scientific world, with everything from space to the human body.

Visitors will be able to view the world around them through a scientific lens in a playful yet illuminating study of everyday materials, from the structure of soap bubbles to the crystallisation of Aperol (of ‘spritz’ fame) and even the unexpected formations of face cream. The exhibition will also shed light on some of the more serious questions for which we look to science for answers, through thought-provoking images exploring human health, environmental conservation and the protection of endangered wildlife. 

The images on display have been captured using a range of modern technologies. From digital telescopes and the latest medical imaging equipment to the everyday smartphone, the exhibition showcases rare scientific phenomena as well as the science that affects our everyday lives.

The shortlist, decided by an expert panel of judges including the Science Museum’s Science Director, Roger Highfield, TV Presenter Dallas Campbell, Artist Zoe Laughlin and Medical Imaging Expert Catherine Draycott, was announced earlier today by the Royal Photographic Society. 

The winning photographs will be unveiled at an event at the Science Museum in October 2019 to coincide with the launch of the exhibition.

Roger Highfield, Science Director at the Science Museum and competition judge, said: ‘We’re thrilled to be hosting The Royal Photographic Society’s Science Photographer of the Year competition in an exhibition at the Science Museum.

‘Since its inception, photography has bridged the worlds of art and science with images which spark and sate curiosity in equal measure. Through images of aesthetic beauty, we can tell stories about the universe and reveal places and phenomena that the naked eye will never see.’

The exhibition opens over 160 years after the Royal Photographic Society’s first public photography exhibition which was hosted in 1854 at the South Kensington Museum, the precursor to the Science Museum.

Gary Evans, RPS Science Exhibition Coordinator, said: ‘Since the very beginning, science has been integral to photography. Now photography has become integral to the way science is carried out and how it is communicated to the wider public. We are delighted to be the guests of the Science Museum for this exhibition and we are sure the images will engage, entertain and educate in equal measure.’


Monday 7 October 2019 – Sunday 5 January 2020
Entry to the exhibition is FREE but ticketed.
Booking opens at 12pm on Thursday 15 August 2019. To book free tickets visit

For more information contact Amrita Pal, Science Museum Press Office, on 020 7942 4096 or


About the Science Museum 
As the home of human ingenuity, the Science Museum’s world-class collection forms an enduring record of scientific, technological and medical achievements from across the globe. Welcoming over 3 million visitors a year, the Museum aims to make sense of the science that shapes our lives, inspiring visitors with iconic objects, award-winning exhibitions and incredible stories of scientific achievement. More information can be found at

About the Royal Photographic Society
The Royal Photographic Society (RPS) is an international charitable organisation that exists to encourage public appreciation of photography through promotion of the highest standards of achievement. The RPS has a worldwide membership of more than 11,000 and membership is open to all. 2019 marks the start of a new phase in the society’s evolution with the opening of a new photographic centre in Bristol to widen public engagement. 

The promotion of the art and science of photography was part of the RPS’s founding objectives in 1853 and it remains in its Royal Charter. The RPS included scientific photography from its first exhibitions and more recently in touring scientific photography exhibitions held since 2011. Science Photographer of the Year relaunches this series.

About Discover South Kensington
Discover South Kensington brings together the Science Museum and other leading cultural and educational organisations to promote innovation and learning. South Kensington is the home of science, arts and inspiration. Discovery is at the core of what happens here and there is so much to explore every day.

Part of the Science Museum Group