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Bringing art and science together with the launch of ‘The Art of Fusion’.

CCFE’s operator the UK Atomic Energy Authority is encouraging the public to get creative with a new competition to break down barriers between art and science.

Fusion – the joining together of atomic nuclei to produce energy – is the process that powers the Sun and stars and gives life to all living things on earth. Scientists at Culham are developing fusion as a low-carbon source of electricity for a cleaner planet.

The Art of Fusion is an opportunity for people to get out those pens, pencils, paints and pallets and show their interpretation of fusion energy.


The competition’s winning entries and runners-up will receive an invitation to a private virtual event including an introductory talk about fusion energy, as well as a virtual tour of the Joint European Torus (JET) fusion machine, which UKAEA hosts at Culham for scientists from around Europe. The winning entries will be displayed in the new year at the Cornerstone gallery in Didcot, feature on their website, and have their pieces turned into postcards which UKAEA will use to promote fusion energy at events and festivals.

Organiser Ella Ashdown explained: “Science and art are for everyone and each can help you appreciate the other. They are often thought to be such opposites, but art has been influencing and aiding science for centuries – just look at Da Vinci’s ‘Vitruvian Man’!

“We use art to explain difficult concepts in science and mathematics so we can all better understand life as we know it. Likewise, science influences the fundamental techniques of art; colour mixing, perspective, vanishing points, the list goes on.

“Fusion energy powers our Sun, a feature of art for millennia. We want to fire up people’s creativity and see their interpretation of fusion to show just how artistic science can be.”

The competition is open to anyone in the UK and all abilities. It will be launched on Friday 9th October and closes on Monday 23rd November. Runners-up and winners will be contacted by email. To enter the competition, see the panel below for instructions.

A panel discussion at the IF Oxford science and ideas festival on Friday 9th October at 7pm BST will see UKAEA physicist Dr Chantal Nobs and botanical illustrator Rosemary Wise explore the theme in more detail. The discussion will explore the apparent differences, and many similarities, between science and art. To register a place at the online event, go to

The Art of Fusion entry details:

To enter the competition, please send a photo (JPG or PNG) of your artwork to, along with answers to the questions below.

The judges will view your entries on a screen so please ensure that your photo makes your artwork look its best. Photograph your artwork in strong light, ideally daylight, and ensure the photograph is in focus by perhaps resting your camera on something to keep it very still. You should also try to ensure your artwork fills as much of the photograph as possible so we can see it in greater detail.

  • What is your full name?
  • We will pick winners from three age categories. What age category are you entering? (7 – 12 years, 13 – 17 years, 18 years and over)
  • Where are you entering from?
  • What is the title of your artwork? (If your piece is untitled, please enter ‘Untitled’)
  • What medium did you use to create your artwork? (e.g. Painting, Drawing, Textiles, Photography, Digital artwork, Printing, Collage)
  • Please tell us a little more about your artwork and why you entered this competition

General Data Protection Regulation:
All information that we hold concerning you as an individual (e.g. your name and contact details) will be held and processed by the organisation strictly in accordance with the provisions of the General Data Protection Regulation. The data will be used by the organisation, only in relation to your entry to The Art of Fusion. We will not supply your name and contact details to any third party except if we are required to do so by operation of the law.

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