Visual representation of scientific information

Sci Signal. 2011 Feb 15;4(160):pt1. doi: 10.1126/scisignal.2001842.


Great technological advances have enabled researchers to generate an enormous amount of data. Data analysis is replacing data generation as the rate-limiting step in scientific research. With this wealth of information, we have an opportunity to understand the molecular causes of human diseases. However, the unprecedented scale, resolution, and variety of data pose new analytical challenges. Visual representation of data offers insights that can lead to new understanding, whether the purpose is analysis or communication. This presentation shows how art, design, and traditional illustration can enable scientific discovery. Examples will be drawn from the Broad Institute's Data Visualization Initiative, aimed at establishing processes for creating informative visualization models.

MeSH terms

  • Audiovisual Aids*
  • Communication
  • Humans
  • Information Dissemination / methods*
  • Information Science / instrumentation
  • Information Science / methods*