Graphics, images and figures — visual representations of scientific data and concepts — are critical components of science and engineering research. They communicate in ways that words cannot. They can clarify or strengthen an argument and spur interest into the research process.
But it is important to remember that a visual representation of a scientific concept or data is a re-presentation and not the thing itself –– some interpretation or translation is always involved. Just as writing a journal article, one must carefully plan a representation and decide what to say, and in what order to say it. The process requires clear thinking and the ability to communicate, and to entice the viewer to choose to look.
This talk will include examples of my own attempts in creating various representations; some more successful than others. I will discuss the iterative process of getting from “here” to “there,” making representations that are more than good enough.
About the speaker: Science photographer Felice Frankel is a research scientist in the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with additional support from Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, a Guggenheim Fellow, and was a Senior Research Fellow in Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Medical School’s Department of Systems Biology. Working in collaboration with scientists and engineers, Felice’s images have appeared on journal covers, in journal articles, web spotlights and in various other international publications for general audiences such as National Geographic, Nature, Science, Angewandte Chemie, Advanced Materials, Materials Today, PNAS, Newsweek, Scientific American, Discover Magazine, Popular Science and New Scientist, among others.