Brown Bag: The Visual Component: More Than Pretty Pictures - with Felice Frankel


Wednesday, May 11, 2016, 12:00pm to 1:00pm




Visual representation of all kinds are becoming more important in our ever growing image-based society, especially in science and technology.  Yet there has been little emphasis on developing standards in creating or critiquing those representations.  We must begin to consider images as more than tangential components of information and find ways to seamlessly search for accurate and honest depictions of complex scientific phenomena.  I will discuss a few ideas to that end and show my own process of making visual representations in sciences and engineering.  I will also make the case that representations are just as "intellectual" as text.

About the discussant:

Science photographer Felice Frankel is a research scientist in the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with additional support from Chemical Engineering, Materials Science and Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering.

She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science,  a Guggenheim Fellow, and was a Senior Research Fellow in Harvard University’s Faculty of Arts and Sciences and a Visiting Scholar at Harvard Medical School’s Department of  Systems Biology.

She most recently developed and instructed the first online MOOC addressing science and engineering photography.  Click the following link to access  31 tutorials and supplemental material:  “Making Science and Engineering Pictures, A Practical Guide to Presenting Your Work.” (course 0.111x)

Felice has received awards and grants from the following:

  •     National Science Foundation
  •     National Endowment for the Arts
  •     Alfred P. Sloan Foundation
  •     Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation
  •     Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts
  •     Loeb Fellowship at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design
  •     Distinguished Alumna Award at Brooklyn College, CUNY
  •     Lennart Nilsson Award for Scientific Photography
  •     Progress Award from the Photographic Society of America
  •     Chancellor’s Distinguished Visiting Fellow in the Arts and Sciences at UC Irvine.

Working in collaboration with scientists and engineers, Felice’s images have been published in over 200 journal articles and/or covers and various other international publications for general audiences such as National Geographic, Nature, Science, Angewandte Chemie, Advanced Materials, Materials Today, PNAS, Newsweek, Scientific American, Discover Magazine, Popular Science and New Scientist, among others.


Information Science Brown Bag talks, hosted by the Program on Information Science, consists of regular discussions and brainstorming sessions on all aspects of information science and uses of information science and technology to assess and solve institutional, social, and research problems. These are informal talks. Discussions are often inspired by real-world problems being faced by the lead discussant.  

The Information Science Program will provide lunch, please bring your favorite beverage and plenty of questions.

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