Judging for Nikon Instruments’ 42nd “Nikon Small World” Competition Begins Today

Nikon Instruments Inc. kicks off the judging for the 2016 Nikon Small World Photomicrography and Small World in Motion Video Competitions today. While this year’s judges all have a strong background in science, each brings a unique perspective and expertise to the judging table: two of the judges are researchers, focused on cell and molecular biology; and two are members of the scientific journalism community, bringing science to a mass audience through videos and commentary.

Now in its 42nd year, Nikon Small World reigns globally as the oldest and most prestigious photo competition, bringing the beauty of art and the mystery of science together under a microscope. However, video—Small World in Motion—represents the future of the competition. Seeing this trajectory, Nikon Instruments for the first time has invited judges with video expertise to help identify winners who portray awe-inspiring subject matter using exemplary video technique.

Throughout the decades, Nikon has brought together an impressive roster of scientists, scientific journalists and photography experts to serve as judges for the annual competition. The judges this year are:

  • Eric Clark: Research Coordinator and Applications Developer at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University.
  • Dr. Joe Hanson: Biologist, science writer, and the creator and host of PBS Digital Studios’ science education show “It’s Okay To Be Smart.”
  • Rachel Link: Producer for National Geographic curating content for the publication’s Short Film Showcase.
  • Dr. Brian J. Mitchell: Assistant Professor in Cell and Molecular Biology at Northwestern University Medical and researcher at The Mitchell Lab.
  • Dr. Clare Waterman:  National Institute of Health (NIH) Distinguished Investigator at the Laboratory of Cell and Tissue Morphodynamics.

“This judging panel perfectly reflects the spirit and growth of the competition,” said Eric Flem, Communications Manager, Nikon Instruments. “As the competition has evolved with both scientific research and technology advancements throughout the decades, we are excited to have a panel that can speak to the scientific integrity, artistic quality and photo and video production techniques that each entry encompasses.”

Since its founding in 1974, Nikon Small World has continued to grow in popularity and size. In 2015, Nikon Instruments received nearly 2,000 entries from 79 countries. Each year, the competition and its winners receive international recognition in the scientific community, with art and photography hobbyists, and in the media.

Judging for the 2016 competition is taking place on June 15th and 16th at the Marine Biological Lab in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. To get a behind-the-scenes look at the judging process and experience, please follow #NikonSmallWorldBTS.

The Nikon Small World winners will be unveiled this October, and the winners of the Small World in Motion video competition will be released weeks later in early December.

For additional information, please visit, or follow the conversation on Facebook and Twitter @NikonSmallWorld


Nikon Instruments Inc. is a world leader in the development and manufacture of optical and digital imaging technology for biomedical applications. Now in its 98th year, Nikon provides complete optical systems that offer optimal versatility, performance and productivity. Cutting-edge instruments include microscopes, digital imaging products and software. Nikon Instruments is one of the microscopy and digital imaging arms of Nikon Inc., the world leader in digital imaging, precision optics and photo imaging technology. Product-related inquiries may be directed to Nikon Instruments at 800-52-NIKON.

Press Contact:

Trisha Bruynell