The Massachusetts Institute of Technology is conducting a three-day symposium to consider how to use images to communicate science and technology most effectively. Participants will include scientists, imaging technologists, computer scientists, photographers, science writers, illustrators, computer modelers, mathematicians, and others involved with communicating the basic science and findings from research. The focus of the conference will be on communication -- both from the scientific community to the general public, and within the scientific community. The 300 conference attendees will hear presentations from professionals working in the area. However, they will spend the majority of the time working collaboratively on solutions to model problems such as how to represent the interaction of a receptor with a ligand, how to make visually explicit the passage of time at all scales, and how to explain visually a sequence of events. Those who have committed to attend the conference will participate for several months in a conference web site prior to and after the meeting. The web site will enable participants to "critique" and make modification to various images and text used to communicate science. It also will be used to enable participants to collaborate in working groups on the model problems.
The PI's for the project are Boyce Rensberger and Felice Frankel. Rensberger is director of the Knight Science Journalism Fellowships program at MIT. He is a science writer and editor and has worked in these capacities for both the New York Times and The Washington Post. Frankel is Artist-in-Resident and research scientist in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. She photographs and digitally images research data in science and engineering. She has collaborated with George Whitesides to publish "On the Surface of Things: Images of the Extraordinary in Science."