We are celebrating Black History Month 2024 with an art competition!

BioTechniques News
Tristan Free

Art, in its infinite forms, is a magnificent expression of human ingenuity, originality and imagination. In line with the 2024 Black History Month (BHM) theme, ‘African Americans and the Arts’, we are holding a scientific art competition to commemorate the impacts that Black people have had on visual arts, scientific advancements and more.

The aim of the competition is to highlight and celebrate these influences through a piece of scientific artwork. As we are a science-based company, we ask that your chosen form of art reflects or is inspired by a Black individual (or group of individuals) that has been influential or motivating to you in your scientific career journey or achievements. Essentially, please portray how this person has inspired you to achieve what you have today, through art.

You can illustrate your inspiration through oils, acrylics, watercolors, canvases, lab materials, cells and imaging systems, etc. Think test-tube sculptures, paintings, sketches and digital images (see the full list of eligible art forms below, as well as some examples). We just need your art to be photographed along with a short description and headshot of the artist/artists to enter!

The short description should be approximately 150 words to describe your form of artwork explaining how and why you have chosen to depict your inspiration in this way.


  • $200 donation to the charity of your choice that supports the Black community.
  • Your artwork featured on BioTechniques alongside an interview about your career and the inspiration for the art piece.
  • A personal subscription to a journal from our collection that best matches your speciality area.

Eligible formats:

  • A sculpture
  • A drawing
  • A painting
  • Photography
  • Any form of textile art using fibers, e.g. embroidery, appliqué, crochet, quilting, knitting, etc.
  • Art with laboratory equipment/materials
  • Digital art (not AI-generated)
  • We will not accept: literature, music, theater or film


Submit your entry by 16th February 18:00 BST/13:00 EDT/10:00 PDT, by emailing j.hagan@futuremedicine.com with the artwork image, description and artist headshot. You must also fill out a signed consent form, which you can download here.

    • If you already have your artwork and description ready to go, you may email j.hagan@futuremedicine.com with a pre-submission entry. This will be judged alongside the other entries when submission closes.
    • Any queries should be directed to j.hagan@futuremedicine.com
    • By entering this Competition, you are deemed to accept the Competition Rules and the Terms and Conditions.
    • Ten images of artwork will be shortlisted by 19th February. A public vote from 19th–23rd February will then decide which image is the winner! We will announce the winner publicly at the end of February.
    • There is no cost for entry to the Competition. No expenses will be paid.


By entering the competition, you hereby accept these competition rules and the Terms and Conditions:

1.1. The Competition is free to enter and is open to all members of the public.

1.2. Submission opens on 12th January. Entries must be submitted by 16th February 2024, 18:00 BST/13:00 EDT/10:00 PDT.

1.3. You agree and acknowledge that Future Science Group is permitted to receive your registration data. All personal information will be used by Future Science Group in accordance with its Privacy Policy.

1.4. To enter, you must email your artwork image, description and headshot to j.hagan@futuremedicine.com with the subject line: BHM 2024 Art Competition *Artist Full Name*. You must also fill out and email a signed copyright form that is linked above.

1.5. A headshot photo of the artist must be submitted along with the artwork image.

2.1. Each entrant can submit up to three artworks, for free. This excludes the headshot photo. Judging will be based on each individual image and not a series of images.

2.2. Images should be a minimum of 300dpi. Images should be of the highest quality available and saved as JPEG or JPG files. All entrants must be able to supply a high-resolution image suitable for enlargement and printing, should the image be required. Very large images should be sent by WeTransfer, only if the entrant is asked.

2.3. The image needs to be saved in file format ‘artistfullname.jpeg’ and submitted with an image title and minimum description of 150 words.

3.1. A shortlist of up to ten artwork images will be selected and the overall winner will be announced at the end of February.

3.2. The decision of the judging committee is final, and no negotiation will be entered into with respect to any such decision.

4.1. Future Science Group reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify and remove any entry that does not comply with the following requirements, even after the entry is submitted on the website. You warrant and represent, in respect of each entry submitted by You (“Entry”), as follows:

4.1.1. You are the owner and author of each entry.

4.1.2. You have the right to make your entry available to the competition.

4.1.3. Each Entry must not contain any infringing, threatening, false, misleading, abusive, harassing, libelous, defamatory, vulgar, obscene, scandalous, inflammatory, pornographic or profane content.

4.1.4. Each Entry must not infringe upon the copyrights, trademarks, contract rights, or any other intellectual property rights of any third person or entity or violate any person’s rights of privacy or publicity. Images in public spaces do not require release from background people/subjects.

5. All entrants understand that any image submitted to the Competition may be used by Future Science Group and its partners for marketing and promotional purposes pertaining to this award. You hereby grant Future Science Group a non-exclusive, irrevocable license in each Entry in all media for any use connected to the promotion of You the author, Future Science Group and its entities, and the BHM art competition.

6. You agree to participate in related publicity and to the use of Your name and likeness for the purposes of advertising, promotion and publicity without additional compensation.

Here are some examples for inspiration:

Please note: these examples are based on Black scientists, but this is not a requirement. It could be a Black family member, friend, or any Black individual who has inspired you in your own scientific career.

Balkees Abderahman male female scientist

This image created and photographed by Balkees Abderrahman (MD Anderson Cancer Center, TX, USA) highlights that women remain significantly underrepresented in science including cancer research. The image honors the theme of equal-gender contribution in cancer research.

Crochet inspired by Katherine Johnson

Crochet inspired by Katherine Johnson, one of the first Black women to work as a NASA scientist and whose calculations were essential to the safety and success of numerous space missions, including Apollo 11.

Digital art inspired by Wangari Maathai

Digital art inspired by Wangari Maathai, the first woman in Africa to earn a PhD and Nobel Peace Prize for her work in environmental conservation, democracy and human rights. Wangari was the founder of the Green Belt Movement, an organization that centered on tree planting, environmental conservation and women’s rights.

Sketch of Patricia Bath, an ophthalmologist

Sketch of Patricia Bath, an ophthalmologist who invented the laserphaco device for cataract surgery. She was the first Black female doctor to receive a medical patent for her invention.

Agar art made using bacterial colonies, inspired by Vivien Theodore Thomas

Agar art made using bacterial colonies, inspired by cardiologist Vivien Theodore Thomas. Vivien helped to develop the ‘Blue Baby operation’, a procedure used to treat babies suffering from a congenital heart defect termed tetralogy of Fallot (blue baby syndrome).

Watercolour painting inspired by marine biologist Ernest Everett

Watercolor painting inspired by marine biologist Ernest Everett, who undertook pioneering research on marine invertebrates. He debunked previous beliefs that fertilization could transpire in the absence of sperm while researching common sea urchin and sand dollar egg development.

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