Here we present the winners (and our favorite runners-up) from the 2012 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge. Now in its tenth year, the competition proves that "Science and engineering's most powerful statements are not made from words alone," as emblazoned on the contest's website.
The visualization challenge is designed to encourage a better public understanding of scientific research and is sponsored by the journal Science and the U.S. National Science Foundation. Criteria for entries include visual impact, effective communication, freshness and originality. Scientists submitted a total of 215 photos, illustrations, videos and games, and we've pared the list down to our favorite "nerdy dozen."
The captions were written by the contestants and submitted along with their entries.