Discover the wonders of microbial ecology! As part of the ISME18 conference, the NCCR Microbiomes co-organises an outreach event to bring microbiology closer to the larger public. Taking place on 17 August 2022 from 16h, this scientific fair will offer a broad audience from the Lausanne area, as well as the ISME18 participants, the possibility to break down the barriers between science and the public, building trust and confidence in scientific methods and solutions.

ISME18 participants will have the possibility to actively participate in a number of activities taking part within ‘Discover the Microverse’. These include:

  • A scientific image exhibition and competition. Images can be submitted electronically with a caption in English and will be printed for you and displayed in the exhibition area. 
  • A scientific short film competition. Films of up to one minute in length with English dialogue or subtitles can be submitted electronically and will be played on loop in the exhibition area.
  • “Ask a scientist” booths, where scientists can give a list of three to four questions or topics that a member of the public can ask them about, one-on-one. Register here if you want to have a booth!
  • Launch of the video game ‘Microbiomes’
  • Panel discussion “Explaining the Microverse”: several science communication experts will discuss ways to improve and increase the effectiveness of how we communicate. The panel discussion is open to all ISME18 participants.


UNIL / Amphimax building

Schedule of the event

16:00Exhibition opens
17:00-18:00Ask a scientist booths
18:00-18:30Launch of Microbiomes, the video game
18:30-19:30Ask a scientist booths
19:30-20:30Panel discussion Explaining the Microverse
20:30-21:00Announcement of prize winners
21:00Exhibition closes

Scientific image and film competition

Winning filmmakers and photographers will receive a cash prize as well as having their films and images promoted via the ISME website. The images and films can be any type of media (from microscopy to drone-footage to cartoons!) but should convey an important message or concept, as well as being visually pleasing and entertaining. The winners will be decided by a panel of scientists, lay people and science communications experts on the basis of 1) their artistic merit, and 2) how well they communicate an important message or fact. Additionally, a public vote will take place to determine the most popular image/film.

Submit your image or video with a good caption, as the caption will be part of the competition. The caption should be approximately 100-200 words, and be understood by anyone with a high school science level.



How to submit


  • maximum size: 100MB
  • resolution: 2000 x 3000 pixels
  • format: TIFF or PNG
  • file name: AuthorLastName_AuthorFirstName_Title


  • maximum length: 1 minute, including opening frames and credits (if included)
  • format: .mov, .mpg, .avi, or .mp4 (.mp4 preferred)
  • frame size: minimum of 720 x 576 pixels (PAL)
  • HD welcomed: minimum = 1280p x 720p; maximum = 1920p x 1080p
  • file name: AuthorLastName_AuthorFirstName_Title


The authors of the images retain copyright over their original image. They allow ISME and the NCCR Microbiomes to publish the submitted images online as well as on social media. The participants allow ISME and the NCCR Microbiomes to modify them for this purpose by adding the logo of the event and relevant text/information. When posted on the ISME website, winning images are listed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (for more information The authors retain the right to inform the organization or other interested parties if they would like a lift of that particular CC attribution.

Any films or images deemed to be offensive will be removed from the competition at the discretion of the event team. If people are identifiably depicted in the material, please obtain their written consent before submitting!

Opening for submission: 1 June 2022.

Deadline for submission: 22 July 2022.

For more information, please email

'Ask a scientist' booths

Would you like to discuss science with the public? To share your knowledge and experience, your fascination about the microbial world? Send us three to four topics or questions you would be interested in talking about, and we will take care of everything else!

Register for a booth

Explain the Microverse panelists

Join us to discuss how to better communicate science with the public! The round table will be led by Stephan van Duin, science communicator at The Online Scientist). The other panelists who will share their experiences with us are: