Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Coláiste Ríoga na Máinleá in Éirinn

RCSI image illustrating breast cancer conversations unveiled as a winner of Wellcome Image Awards 2017

06 March 2017
An image which illustrates a fascinating visualisation of Twitter conversations about breast cancer, created by a team at RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland), has been unveiled as a winner of the Wellcome Image Awards 2017. The RCSI image is the only Irish winner at these prestigious international science images awards and 1 of 22 winners of the 2017 Awards. 
 
The RCSI image entitled “#breastcancer Twitter connections” was generated from 92,915 tweets containing #breastcancer, collected over an 8 week period. The image illustrates how Twitter can facilitate a vast, dynamic global conversation to discuss healthcare issues. Twitter users are represented as dots with interactions between users shown as lines, with larger dots indicating the most connected and influential participants in the conversation about breast cancer. 

The image was created by Eric Clarke, Lecturer in Health Informatics, Foundation Year Medicine and Physiotherapy, RCSI; Professor Richard Arnett, Director of Psychometrics, Quality Enhancement Office, RCSI; and Jane Burns, Research Officer, School of Nursing and Midwifery, RCSI. The image was originally generated for a front cover illustration for RCSI’s annual Research Day programme in 2016. 
 
#breastcancer Twitter connections - Eric Clarke, Richard Arnett and Jane Burns, RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland)
#breastcancer Twitter connections - Eric Clarke, Richard Arnett and Jane Burns, RCSI (Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland) 

Professor Cathal Kelly, Chief Executive/ Registrar of RCSI said: “It is a great honour for RCSI to be the only winning Irish institution at the Wellcome Image Awards 2017. As a specialist health sciences institution, RCSI is focused on innovative and impactful research that benefits human health. This captivating image, illustrating conversations about breast cancer, is a very fitting inspiration to our researchers and clinicians who strive to bring about meaningful change in the delivery of patient-centred care and highlights the importance of new technologies in healthcare.”

The Wellcome Image Awards are celebrating their 20th year of bringing us the world’s most incredible science images. The RCSI image, along with the other winning images will be will be exhibited from Tuesday 14th - Sunday 19th March 2017 in the Science Gallery, Dublin. The exhibition will also open from 16th March in W5, Belfast and a range of venues across the UK, and internationally, including Russia and South Africa.
 
Showcasing the best in science image making, this year’s awards include a broader range of cutting-edge artistic and scientific techniques than ever before.  From photography and illustration to super-resolution microscopy and medical scans, the images use a variety of methods to capture the imagination and bring complex concepts to life.
 
Catherine Draycott, Head of Wellcome Images and chair of the judging panel said: “It’s now 20 years since the first Wellcome Image Awards and we continue to be surprised and delighted by the range of extraordinary images we receive each year. We are thrilled that they will be displayed across the UK and abroad so that people can come and explore the stories behind these stunning images.”
 
This year’s award-winning images also include a beautiful illustration of Nobel laureate and neurobiologist Rita Levi-Montalcini and a glimpse at the intricate system of blood vessels inside an African Grey Parrot.
 
The images will also be displayed in the windows of Wellcome’s HQ in London, and made available on the Wellcome Image Awards website
 
The 22 winning images were chosen by nine judges from all those acquired by the Wellcome Images picture library in the past year. The awards will be presented at a ceremony on 15 March 2017 where the overall winner will also be revealed. 

RCSI is ranked in the top 250 institutions worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings (2016-2017). It is an international not-for-profit health sciences institution, with its headquarters in Dublin, focused on education and research to drive improvements in human health worldwide.