Press release

Get closer to science with Wellcome Image Awards 2012

A vibrant false-coloured magnification of a caffeine crystal, a hypnotising image of dividing cancer cells and a hair-raising close-up of a hopping fly are just some of the winners in the Wellcome Image Awards 2012.

Featuring electron micrographs that take us deep into worlds on a nanoscale and clinical photographs revealing the precision of cutting-edge surgical techniques, the Awards celebrate the best images acquired by the Wellcome Images picture library over the last 18 months.

Sixteen winning images were selected by a judging panel, based not only on their visual appeal but also their technical excellence and ability to convey the fascination of science. For the first time this year, a single overall winner will be announced at the prizegiving ceremony at Wellcome Collection, London on 20 June.

This year's awards will be presented by the BBC's Medical Correspondent Fergus Walsh, who was a member of the judging panel. He said: "This was another year of diverse, fascinating and beautiful images. In what other field can you celebrate the hidden beauty of a diatom frustule or caffeine crystals?"

The winning images will be on display at Wellcome Collection from 21 June, as well as on the Wellcome Image Awards website, where you can find more information on the remarkable scientific stories behind the stunning images.

Wellcome Images is one of the world's richest and most unique collections, with themes ranging from medical and social history to contemporary healthcare and over 40 000 high-quality images from the clinical and biomedical sciences. Whether it's medicine or magic, the sacred or the profane, science or satire - you'll find more than you expect.

Now in their 15th year, the Wellcome Image Awards were established to reward contributors to the collection for their outstanding work.

Catherine Draycott, Head of Wellcome Images and a member of the judging panel, said: "The Wellcome Image Awards are unique in that the winners are chosen for their scientific and technical merit as much as for their aesthetic appeal. They offer people a chance to get closer to science and research and see it in a different way, as a source of beauty as well as providing important information about ourselves and the world around us."