Philip Ball in Nature:
“We must do this more often” was the constant refrain at a gathering of scientists, artists, film makers, designers, writers, editors and art historians at a meeting in Los Angeles. They were there to explore the use of images in science, for both understanding data and communicating it to others.
Image and Meaning 2, held from 23 to 25 June at the Getty art museum, was the successor to the first conference of this sort, staged in 2001 at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Boston.
The conference series is the brainchild of Felice Frankel, a science photographer working at MIT. Frankel helps scientists present their work using imagery that is both informative and striking. Her photographs have graced many covers of Nature and Science.
Frankel convened the meeting because, she says, “we have a serious problem. There is an assumption that in science our graphics communicate. But they often don’t.” Frankel argues that many scientists don’t see imagery as an integral part of the scientific process. This, she says, is doing the community a disservice.