Do You See What I See?
Laboratorians see things that most human eyes never encounter. The world through the lens of a microscope can be packed with medical diagnostic information, as well as indefinable beauty set against a backdrop of Lilliputian proportions.
The National Science Foundation is sounding a call for entries to its 2012 International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge, which opens in May.
The challenge synopsis throws down the gauntlet with some inspiration:
"Some of science's most powerful statements are not made in words. From the diagrams of DaVinci to Rosalind Franklin's X-rays, visualization of research has a long and literally illustrious history. To illustrate is to enlighten. How many people would have heard of fractal geometry or the double helix or solar flares if they had been described solely in words? In a world where science literacy is dismayingly rare, illustrations provide the most immediate and influential connection between scientists and other citizens, and the best hope for nurturing popular interest. Indeed, they are now a necessity for public understanding of research developments."
For even more inspiration check out a recent ADVANCE photo gallery depicting top finalists from the Nikon Small World microscopic image competition. Then take a look at past winners of the International Science and Engineering Visualization Challenges. And prepare to be amazed.
Are you a laboratorian with a visual to share? The time may be now.