Are there microscopy competitions?

Some people might feel the need or urge to measure their performance with others. Competitions are, after all, a measure to assess one’s own progress in a certain field. People who play sports sometimes keep a record on how fast they run, or how often they have won. The medals won are a manifestation of one’s achievements. The number of supernovae discovered (in amateur astronomy) can also serve as a measure of personal success and achievement. Even when playing music, one can feel the progress that one makes, and one can benchmark one’s own performance against the performance of others, should this even be a goal in the first place.

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Microscopy, is contrast, is quite different. The main motivation for amateur microscopy is the observation of nature and the interest in getting to know your environment on a small scale. In a way, microscopy is a “calmer” activity.

So are there competitions in microscopy? Yes! There are annual micrography contests in which the most original micrographs are honored. These competitions offer nice examples of combining science with arts.

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