Illustraciencia was born in 2009 under the coordination of Miquel Baidal Crespo. The aim of this project is to share and reward scientific and naturalist illustrations.
In order to accomplish its objective, Illustraciencia carries out several actions in which the Internactional Award on Scientific and Naturalist Illustration plays a prominent role. In each edition, the best 40 works are selected and, according to its objective, Illustraciencia economically awards the winner. The selected illustrations are also collected in a virtual free-access catalogue. The scientific illustration and its authors visibility is possible thanks to workshops and talks imparted by professionals. Exhibitions and activities are carried out in collaboration with museums, universities, libraries and other entities compromised within scientific communication. This process allows for the creation of a relationship between the project, the illustrators, institutions and society to be created.
The third edition is made possible thanks to generous grants from the Ministry of Science and Innovation and the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology (FECYT) and La Caixa as well as the Catalan Scientific Communication Association (ACCC) who has helped organize the project since its beginning and the National Museum of Natural Sciences (MNCN-CSIC) who has joined for the sixth edition. These institutions have contributed to the project´s growth and the accomplishment of its objectives.
Furthermore, Illustraciencia offers intensive on-site courses in science museums where the participants learn how to get information and use several illustration techniques. The preparation of these courses and subsequent online follow-ups allow for students to get better training and professional advice. Events like these ones and the high presence of the project on social media shows a growing scientific illustrators community that enhances the collaboration between professionals and the spreading of their work. Additionally,relevant content to this field and news are published on the web and blog.