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Scientists, artists, students showcase beauty of basic research through art

  • Published
  • By Kiara Palmer
  • Air Force Research Laboratory Public Affairs

Editor’s note: Submission entries for the 2023 Basic Research Art of Science Showcase are on digital display.

ARLINGTON, Va. (AFOSR) – More than 200 basic research-inspired art submissions are on digital display for the second annual 2023 Basic Research Art of Science Showcase, which celebrates 71 years of technological innovation from the Air Force Research Laboratory’s, or AFRL, Air Force Office of Scientific Research, or AFOSR.
Curated by the basic research arm of AFRL, AFOSR has been at the forefront of cutting-edge basic research contributions in science and technology for the U.S. Department of the Air Force and the nation. Resulting technological developments such as stealth, GPS, the computer mouse, superplastic, infrared sensors, Nobel Award-winning lithium batteries and many more have become available.
“There is beauty in the images produced by scientific endeavors," said AFRL Chief Technology Officer Dr. Timothy J. Bunning. "Modern day imaging tools enable us to ‘look’ using a variety of lens, providing both wonder and clarity on the things we view.  These images spark creativity, help to expand the boundaries of our knowledge and keep us coming back for more exploration."

This year’s showcase theme, “Everyone’s an Artist", invites students, researchers, artists and members of the AFRL workforce from across the globe to submit images, photos and graphic depictions that showcase the convergence of art and basic research. AFSOR received 128 submissions from AFOSR grantees and 20 entries from AFRL staff related to advanced materials, quantum science, space technology and biotechnology.
Col. Janelle T.H. Jackson, AFOSR's acting director and Detachment 14 commander, said the Art of Science Showcase is an avenue to encourage the next generation to pursue science.

“Science and technology are emerging every day and we must equip, educate and empower the next generation to continue to pursue basic science to support our warfighters and the nation," said Jackson. "The participation of K-12 students in the showcase is crucial to motivating future scientists and engineers.”

In AFSOR’s first year accepting K-12 entries, the organization received nearly a dozen submissions from students based in classrooms, laboratories and art rooms across the nation and the globe who translated their research into art.

All qualified entries will be highlighted as a collection in an AFOSR-hosted virtual gallery beginning Oct. 29, 2023, to align with AFOSR's birthday. Each week, AFRL and AFOSR will highlight individual art pieces on social media platforms with the hashtag #ArtofScience23.
To view the 2023 Art of Science Showcase in its entirety, visit
About AFRL
The Air Force Research Laboratory is the primary scientific research and development center for the Department of the Air Force. AFRL plays an integral role in leading the discovery, development, and integration of affordable warfighting technologies for our air, space and cyberspace forces. With a workforce of more than 12,500 across nine technology areas and 40 other operations across the globe, AFRL provides a diverse portfolio of science and technology ranging from basic to advanced research and technology development. For more information, visit
About the AFRL/AFOSR
As a vital component of the Air Force Research Laboratory, AFRL/AFOSR’s mission is to discover, shape, champion and transition high-risk basic research to profoundly impact the future United States Air and Space Force.