Visual representations are an important and integral part of understanding and developing new scientific concepts – both in the laboratory and when engaging a public audience. Images often serve as the primary evidence supporting the claims of the scientific publication (Goodsell & Johnson, 2007). Fifty years ago Kendrew and Geis aimed for the best possible visual representation of myoglobin. Geis later emphasised: “We can only say 'it's something like that' – and only create a visual metaphor" (Paterlini, 2008). This chapter takes you through a series of visual representations made within a broad range of scientific areas, visual approaches and imaging technologies. It explores the way we look at scientific data, why some representations are better than others, and what you can do to achieve clarity, accuracy and aesthetic appearance in a visual representation that will represent your scientific data in the best possible way.
Successful Science Communication: Telling It Like It Is, 2011, p. 332-354