Contest puts a sharp focus on science

Special to Western News

‘Leaves’ in the Backyard, by Chemistry PhD student Mengnan Guo, is one of the Top 20 finalists for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Science Exposed contest.

Two Western PhD students have a sharp focus on their love of science and are now among the Top 20 finalists for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Science Exposed contest.

The visuals from Mengnan Guo and Martin Badley are not only vital to scientific discussion and education, but act as a powerful way of teaching and communicating with the general public by creating curiosity in science.

Guo’s photo, ‘Leaves’ in the Backyard, depicts the surface shapes of copper sulphide formed by corrosion of copper in water. Copper has been chosen for containers for used nuclear fuel because of its stability under the oxygen-free and cool conditions in deep geologic repositories.

Special to Western NewsNuclear Staircase, by Chemistry PhD student Martin Badley, is one of the Top 20 finalists for the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) Science Exposed contest.

Badley’s image, Nuclear Staircase, shows the grain structure of a uranium dioxide pellet. Such pellets fuel nuclear power reactors, which have been used commercially since the 1950s and currently generate approximately 10 per cent of the world’s electricity.

The public can vote for their favourite image, with three Jury Prizes and a People’s Choice Award to be handed out, each worth $2,000. The contest runs through Sept. 13.