Help Me See! Some Thoughts From a Potential User

Felice C. Frankel

What you are doing is critical and, in fact, your role is more important than ever in this age of massive data. I desperately want to use your work, but sometimes I just cannot seem to wrap my head around what you are showing––even if it really looks cool. Cool doesn’t cut it for me. This talk will give examples from my own successes and failures in photography and graphics and suggest, with a little imagination and open minds, there might be some lessons learned from my own commitment to delving into and communicating information.


Science photographer Felice Frankel is a research scientist in the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at MIT. Collaborating with scientists and engineers across a host of disciplines, she creates images and graphics for journal submissions, presentations and for publications to advance the public understanding of science.

Felice has received grants and awards from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Science Foundation, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Harvard University’s Loeb Fellowship in the Graduate School of Design, the Lennart Nilsson Foundation, among others, and is a Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

Her books include Envisioning Science: The Design and Craft of the Science Image, No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale, coauthored with George Whitesides, On the Surface of Things: Images of the Extraordinary in Science, also coauthored with G. M. Whitesides. Her most recent book published this year, coauthored with Angela DePace, is Visual Strategies, A Practical Guide to Graphics for Scientists and Engineers.

Her commitment to advance visual literacy in science informs her teaching and her series of “hands-on” workshops for researchers in the US and Europe.