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Deadline is coming and we are working very hard. Chemistry is SO beautiful. We are capturing its beauty with cameras and will share with you soon. For more information, please visit:
Hope you like them! For more information, please visit BeautifulChemistry.net.
We released more information about Beautiful Chemistry on the project website. Also, we launched a blog that focuses on the news and information about project development. The first version of Beautiful Chemistry will be completed by 9/30/2014.
More preview images:
Announcing BeautifulChemistry.net, a project collaboration between the Institute of Advanced Technology at the University of Science and Technology of China and Tsinghua University Press. The goal of this project is to bring the beauty of chemistry to the general public through digital media and technology.
More information coming soon!
The image above was a painting of myoglobin, the first protein structure solved by X-ray crystallography. The painting was created by Irving Geis for a Scientific American article “The Three Dimensional Structure of a Protein Molecule” by John Kendrew, published in December l961. John Kendrew and his colleagues solved the myoglobin structure in l958.
Nowadays, one can easily create an image of a protein structure with the aid of a computer and molecular visualization software. In 1961, however, everything had to be done by hand. Creating an image of a protein structure required not only outstanding artistic skills of visualizing complicated 3D structures, but also extraordinary patience. Originally trained as an architect at Georgia Institute of Technology and receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts from University of Pennsylvania, Geis had all the skills and knowledge to visualize the 3D structures of proteins.
This February, I will become a contract associate professor at the Department of Science and Technology Communication and Policy (STCP) at the University of Science and Technology of China (USTC). I am very excited about this opportunity and look forward to starting a new journey in scientific visualization at USTC.
This is a following post of How to make cover art for scientific journals: study existing covers and make early decisions. In this post, we will discuss the creation processes of a Science cover, a PNAS cover, and a Nature Biotechnology cover.
1. Science cover (August 24, 2012)
The authors studied the airway epithelial cell surfaces in human lungs. They discovered that cilia and airway surface are covered by tethered biomacromolecules that form dense, brushlike structures. The image below was the authors’ attempt on the cover design (image courtesy of Liheng Cai and Aloha Sahl).
There were two problems with this design. 1. The main focus of the paper was the brushlike structures of the airway surface. However, the human lungs took a big portion of the image. 2. After studying the previous covers, we found that Science seldom used schematic drawings and blow-up insets for their covers. As a result, I proposed that we should make a new image that focuses on the airway surface and brushlike structures. Below is the first version.
From January 11th to January 15th, I was at King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) in Saudi Arabia, giving a workshop titled: Essential Techniques for Effective Visual Communication in Science. It was one of the many courses of the 2014 Winter Enrichment Program at KAUST. Originally, it was a 3-session (3 hours for each session) workshop from Jan 11 to Jan 14. But because of the popularity of this workshop, another 2-session workshop was added on Jan 15.
The workshop was a huge success. I am very happy to see that many graduate students and researchers show great interests in scientific graphics and animations. This encourages me to create more video tutorials on this website to help more people to create visuals for their research.
I had a great experience at KAUST. I am very grateful for the invitation of Prof. Hussain and the excellent organization by WEP staff members. KAUST campus is truly beautiful and unique. Below are some photos I shot while staying there (more photos on Behance):
When you have a paper accepted by a scientific journal, you might think about submitting an image to compete for the cover. Or you might be contacted by the editor and asked to provide a cover art. Having a cover story would potentially bring a lot of attention to your research, especially when it comes to famous journals like Nature and Science. But the big question many researchers face is: how to make engaging cover art that would win the competition?
The first and probably the most important step is to study the existing covers of the journal of interest and decide what kind of cover art you want to create. However, this step is often ignored by researchers, which reduce the chance of getting the cover.
When you browse through the published covers, you will see that cover art usually falls in several categories discussed below in detail. (We will skip editorial covers and astronomy pictures here. A nice astronomy picture usually makes the cover automatically.) The essential task in this step is to choose a categories that suits best for your research.
1. Photos. Examples: photos of a new species, a recently discovered fossil, a flexible electronic device, a newly invented instrument, and an interesting phenomenon frozen in time, etc. A nice photo is not only visually compelling, but it also serves as a visual evidence of your research. To take a good photo, it requires a lot of practice and creative thinking. If you are interested in taking photos yourself, I highly recommend Envisioning Science: The Design and Craft of the Science Image by Felice Frankel. You might also want to work with a professional photographer if necessary.