this idea of Facebook/Blog voting is certainly spreading and I've seen it used for many purposes but for a scientific illustration competition is the first time. I submitted a piece under the impression that in addition to this kind of voting there would be a professional jurying for the selection of the 20 pieces to be exhibited in Spain; but I'm starting to believe I was mistaken.
I agree with you that it's great exposure for scientific illustration in general, but I don't think the awarded pieces will necessarily translate quality recognition. In the end it will be the artists with the biggest network and campaigning skills that will take the lead, I have seen that happen in other contexts and it's starting to reveal here as well - so far, in my opinion, there are quite good pieces poorly voted and vice-versa.
So it's worth what it's worth and it's fun looking at the gallery and the range of subjects and techniques. And it's also a good excuse to visit Barcelona once the exhibition is up, we can always say it's a business trip to assess the latest trends in our international colleagues' work! ;-)
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