2021 – Stephen Gschmeissner

“Stephen Gschmeissner is awarded the Lennart Nilsson Award 2021 for his creative and ingenious efforts that enabled new scientific breakthroughs and opened new windows for observations of life. As a scientific director and photographer specialized in microscopy, his commitment and deep knowledge also made a profound impact on the training of the next generation of scientific and educational leaders. This has led to many new scientific discoveries in several areas such as tumor biology and neuroscience. During his long and successful professional career, he has embraced the true spirit of Lennart Nilsson and meets all the criteria to receive the award.”

Scientific photographer Stephen Gschmeissner is one of the leading scanning microscopists in the world. He has a degree in zoology, and decades of experience in cancer research using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) at the Royal College of Surgeons and Cancer Research, UK. His technical competence with the microscopy equipment has produced the most beautiful pictures with amazing levels of detail.

Stephen Gschmeissner’s collection numbers well over 10,000 images, testifying to his inexhaustible curiosity and tireless search to make visible the invisible. His images have appeared in thousands of books and magazines in multiple languages all over the world. They can be found in scientific, medical and general interest publications, textbooks, corporate literature, advertising, exhibitions, fashion, music and art. The incredibly broad range and consistently high quality of the content is what marks this collection as a unique contribution to both science and art.

Stephen Gschmeissner and his images bring people to understand that nature is far more complex and beautiful than it appears at a first, superficial glance.