Discover the latest breakthroughs in Art and Science at the Falling Walls Science Summit 2021.

We were looking for artists whose work is inspired and influenced by science across a wide range of subjects (from the humanities to life sciences, technology and more), which sheds light on societal issues, natural phenomena or simply the wonder of scientific discoveries, and which highlights the unique relationship between these apparently opposite but often highly complementary disciplines.

Meet all Finalists who qualify for the title of Science Breakthrough of the Year 2021 in Art and Science.


jury 2021

Counting more than 100 jurors across 10 categories, each breakthrough is determined by a distinguished world-class Jury under the leadership of renowned experts in their respective fields. We are delighted that Helga Nowotny, President Emerita of the European Research Council, serves as the Chair of the Juries, presiding over the selection process at large.

The Falling Walls Breakthrough of the Year 2021 in Art and Science is selected by a distinguished Jury chaired by Horst Bredekamp.

Past Finalists

Discover the Falling Walls Science Breakthrough of the Year 2020 in Art and Science:


Breaking the Wall to Machine Auguries
Humankind has forced those species that did not extinct to change its behaviour. Birds for example change the time and tone of their songs. The London-based artist Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg created new bird voices to help us understand our negative impact on nature. In dialogue with scientists and experts, she uses emerging technologies such as Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) to create deep fakes that challenge our perception of nature.


Additional information for this category

When and where does the Falling Walls Conference 2021 take place?

After a fully digital Falling Walls Conference in 2020, we look forward to welcoming the people who are finding solutions to the greatest challenges of our time back to Berlin on the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Please save the date: 7 – 9 November 2021.

7 November: Falling Walls Pitches
A day of live pitches in the following categories:
Emerging Talents (Falling Walls Lab) for the next generation of outstanding innovators.
Science Engagement (Falling Walls Engage) for inspiring science engagers.
Science Start-Ups (Falling Walls Venture) for the science start-up community.

8 November: Falling Walls Circle – Challenges and Foresight
Our new format to connect science and society. Researchers, policymakers, business leaders, and society discuss the biggest challenges we face and the foresight that scientific breakthroughs can offer.

9 November: Falling Walls Science Breakthroughs of the Year
On the anniversary of the historic fall of the Berlin Wall, the grand finale provides a stage for outstanding research presented in inspiring presentations. For the 13th time, “the brightest minds on the planet“ (BBC) will showcase their work.

Why should you want to take part?

  • If selected, your work will be presented to a distinguished Jury.
  • If chosen as one of the 10 Winners in Art and Science, you will have the opportunity to feature your winning project in a short video in our content library.
  • If chosen as ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ 2021 in Art and Science:
    • You will be invited to present on stage in Berlin (or via livestream), and reach a global audience.
    • We will use our expertise and years of experience in science communication and work with you to help make your research accessible and engaging to a wide audience, and to highlight its impact on society.
    • You will be offered individual professional coaching to prepare you for your talk.
    • You will have an opportunity to interact with a wide range of decision-makers, innovators and emerging talents from all over the world, working in many different disciplines and sectors, and join a community committed to bringing down barriers to address common challenges.

Who can take part?

  • The title of ‘Breakthrough of the Year’ in Art and Science can be awarded to individual artists as well as groups. However, groups will need to determine one person who represents the group and presents their work.
  • Participants confirm that their work has never been presented on the Falling Walls stage before.
  • Participants can be nominated again with a different project.

What are the selection criteria?

We are looking for:

  • International contemporary artists, collectives and projects that reflect, present, convey or process current phenomena, developments and discoveries in all scientific disciplines, or which present them in artistic forms
  • Artists and works that address global social challenges via scientific references, methods or practices
  • Artists and works that set new standards in the intersection of art and science and stand out artistically as well as methodologically

How does the nomination and selection process work?


The call for nominations is closed. All submitted nominations are currently reviewed by us.


If Nominees are selected, they will then become a Falling Walls Finalist. All Finalists will be officially announced on our website.


Our distinguished jury for Art and Science, chaired by Horst Bredekamp, will select 10 Winners. Each Winner will have the opportunity to feature their winning project in a short video in our content library. A detailed briefing will be provided for this purpose.


The respective juries will select the Science Breakthroughs of the Year from the Winners of each category. On 9 November, the Breakthroughs of the Year will receive the opportunity to present their work to a global audience on the grand Falling Walls stage in Berlin.

Who can nominate?

We asked leading academics and academic institutions, universities, research organisations, companies, private and public research centres, academies, research funders, foundations, and individuals to nominate the latest breakthroughs in Art and Science. In rare exceptions, direct nominations may be considered. For more information on whether your project qualifies,  please contact us at

Who can I contact in case I have a question about this category?

Please contact the Conference Team at

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