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  4th Biennial Photography Competition ”Science – the World around Us”

The world around us is the jam smeared on a slice of bread. The world around us is everyday rush to school or work, often through the fog or heavy rain which may bring flood. The world around us is the short lunch break with a serving of boiled potatoes with dill or golden chips on the plate, a fan on a hot day, a spider, a ladybird and a flea in the favourite pet’s fur. The world around us is also the November chrysanthemums, holiday at the Baltic Sea or on a trail in the Beskidy Mountains, a handful of evening news from a nearby city or a different continent. It is stargazing before sleep – look into the starry sky – unbelievably distant and yet so close because seen every night. The world around us: rich, diversified, changing, solid, universal and subjective at the same time. This is simply the world around us.

Yet the most common things do have their genealogy, their origins and sources, causes and results, character and regularities. They are governed by rules. They can be described with equations, codified with laws. Scientists, each in their own specialization, delve into the mysteries of the world. They reach the aerodynamics of fans. They decipher the yellowed recipes for traditional Olender beetroot jam, saving them from oblivion. They wander through forests and meadows describing unknown qualities of known animals and common plants. They delve into genes of a potato and physiology of ladybirds. They penetrate our everyday, or rather everynight, sky to the very frontier of the horizon.

Thanks to the photos presented at the exhibition of the 4th Photography Biennial of the University of Silesia ‘Science – the World around us’ our everyday world, the visible one and the imperceptible one, so distant and mysterious, gets closer to us with a new dimension. We have a chance to see the world around us, the science, with a fresh look. Is it not fascinating that the everyday things, seemingly so obvious, become the subject of scientific analyses, and the things riddled with specialist jargon and clouded in mystery of laboratories are so trivially simple? This is the magic of photography. Without a thousand unnecessary words, it tells us everything and for a careful observer may become an inspiration for new discoveries. That is what we would like to wish everybody.

Agnieszka Babczyńska
Centre for Studies on Human and Natural Environment
University of Silesia in Katowice
Mirosław Nakonieczny
Author of the project „Science on camera”