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Winners are revealed for The Royal Photographic Society’s Science Photographer of the Year as exhibition opens at the Science Museum

  • The Royal Photographic Society’s first Science Photographer of the Year exhibition opens at the Science Museum
  • Winners of the competition are revealed as a series of 70 scientific photographs go on display at a free exhibition
Launching a Mini Boat © Morgan Trimble © Morgan Trimble

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

The winners of The Royal Photographic Society’s Science Photographer of the Year competition are revealed today as a new exhibition showcasing the shortlist opens at the Science Museum.

The award for Science Photographer of the Year has been given to South African Morgan Trimble for her image ‘Launching a Mini Boat’, showing a tiny vessel being released to monitor ocean currents and the wind in order to research and educate about climate change. 

Young Science Photographer of the Year (under 18 years old) has been awarded to 17-year-old student Jason Chen of the USA, whose winning photograph titled ‘Growl’ shows an instructional dog model on display at his local veterinary school.

Growl © Jason Chen © Jason Chen

Capturing everything from the structure of soap bubbles to the crystallisation of Aperol, visitors to the exhibition can enjoy new perspectives on otherwise everyday materials, while studies of human health, environmental conservation and the protection of endangered wildlife shed light on more serious questions for which we look to science for answers. 

The images on show have been shot 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 competition received hundreds of entries from photographers of all ages and abilities with the youngest among the shortlist being just 8 years old. The winning entries were chosen by an expert panel of judges including the Science Museum’s Science Director, Roger Highfield, TV Presenter Dallas Campbell, Materials Engineer and TV Presenter Zoe Laughlin and Medical Imaging Expert Catherine Draycott.

Roger Highfield, Science Director at the Science Museum and competition judge, said: ‘Morgan Trimble’s wonderful photograph invites you to dive in to discover how that little bobbing boat, Ukuhamba Ngamaphupho (‘sailing on a dream’), will help those hard hats study the role of the oceans in climate, while Jason Chen expands our field of vision with an image that is as informative as it is disturbing, where the familiar growl of our best friend is fixed, plastinated and bisected.’

The exhibition opens over 160 years after the Royal Photographic Society’s first public museum exhibition which was hosted in 1858 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.
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.