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The Gallery of Life

Victor M. Hunt

Nov 29, 2020

Challenging the notion of science being a rigid, unaesthetic discipline.

The Gallery of Life is a virtual art display that highlights the beauty of benchwork by showcasing photos of microbes and plant matter that have been colorfully captured by fluorescent and contrast microscopy. This exhibit has challenged the notion of science being a rigid and unaesthetic discipline and sparked a global conversation after receiving submissions from Canada, Mexico, and Denmark.

Victor M. Hunt, the project's curator, states, "The Gallery of Life has successfully blended art with science, and offered an entire community of creative researchers with an outlet for artistic expression."

Hunt hopes that scientists and students take a moment to stop and recognize the beauty in their research. He feels that the scientific community needs to do a better job of communicating and relating with the general public, particularly to combat the growing mistrust of science that's stemmed from the misinformation circulating around the COVID-19 pandemic.

"A number of scientists have access to highly powerful tools that offer really unique vantage points," Hunt says. "If the discipline can do a better job of sharing the ins and outs of what we do, I think we can establish a shared perspective with the non-scientist."

Updated May 13th, 2021:

After many months and dozens of submissions, The Gallery of Life has concluded its project. We thank those who contributed to the exhibit and invite newcomers to view some of our favorite submissions below.

Water Bear

Hunter Hines, Ph.D. The Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University.

A Tardigrade, or "water bear," under phase contrast microscopy.

Rights reserved to Hunter Hines.

Equisetum spores

Uriel Ruíz García. Universidad Autónoma Metropolitana, Mexico City, Mexico.

A polarized light image of Equisetum spores showing their green color and elaters used for dispersion.

Rights reserved to Uriel Ruíz García.

Ocular transgenic pigment cells in the Developing Zebrafish

Melanie Cragan. Rhode Island College.

Zebrafish eye at 4 days post-fertilization under bright-field and fluorescence microscopy, respectively. The EGFP transgene is expressed with pnp4a, which is an iridophore (iridescent pigment cell) specific gene in zebrafish.

Rights reserved to Melanie Cragan.


Hunter Hines, Ph.D. The Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute at Florida Atlantic University.

A ciliate full of symbiotic algae.

Rights reserved to Hunter Hines.


Martin Kaae Kristiansen, M.Sc. Aalborg University, Aalborg, Denmark.

Rights reserved to Martin Kaae Kristiansen.

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