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Last modified: Monday, September 19, 2005

Science magazine and NSF award first prize to IU Bloomington biologist and filmmaker

SEPT. 22, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Following their challenge to the nation's scientists to come up with ways to make science visually appealing, the National Science Foundation and Science magazine are giving top honors to Indiana University Bloomington biologist Roger Hangarter and documentarian Samuel Orr for their short film about Brood X periodical cicadas. The winners of the Science & Engineering Visualization Challenge's five contest categories are published in this week's Science.

"Return of the 17 Year Cicadas"

Photo by: Roger Hangarter and Samuel Orr

Roger Hangarter and Samuel Orr's short film, "Return of the 17 Year Cicadas," won top prize in its category

Hangarter and Orr's six-minute "Return of the 17-Year Cicadas" won first prize in the Non-Interactive Media category for its visual impact, its novel use of cameras (mixture of live and time-lapse footage) and its scientific accuracy. Panel judge Thomas Lucas said of the short film that it is "a discrete, elegant package, beautifully photographed and very detailed."

A QuickTime version of the movie is available for download via Hangarter's Brood X Web site:

Orr is currently working on a one-hour documentary film about periodical cicadas in collaboration with another IUB biologist, Keith Clay, who has an NSF grant to study their ecological impacts. The longer program is a joint production of the Indiana University Research and Teaching Preserve and PBS affiliate WFYI (Indianapolis). It will be broadcast in early 2006, at which time copies will be made available to science educators.

Hangarter is the president of the American Society of Plant Biologists. His interests in science, art and education have led to an IU School of Fine Arts exhibit, "sLowlife" in 2003 (, and the Web site "Plants-in-Motion" (, which was featured in Science NetWatch in 2002 and was awarded a MERLOT Classic Award for Biology in 2004. Hangarter was profiled in the most recent edition of IU's Research & Creative Activity magazine (

Media interested in high-quality video or in talking to Hangarter and Orr should contact David Bricker, IU Media Relations, at 812-856-9035 or

To speak with someone at AAAS or Science about the contest, please contact Science press package staff at 202-326-6440 or To speak with someone at NSF, please contact Susan Mason at 703-292-7748 or