In fact, making any representation, of any kind in science and engineering, is part of the process of understanding. I believe that creating visuals for the purpose of explanation should be part of the education agenda. You can see one example if you check out the Learning as I photograph page.
For 20 years, I have been privileged to collaborate with some pretty amazing scientists, engineers and students from all over the world. The research community is a place of wonder where ideas flourish and rigorous thinking to support those ideas is applied and tested. It’s where understanding “why” becomes nourishment.
My goals are to contribute to that thinking by creating explanatory images, to encourage researchers to develop creative ways to visually communicate their work and to teach the next generation of scientists and engineers about the power of visual communication — both to colleagues and to those outside the research community. I want the world to love science as I do.
If I have made just one picture that catches someone’s attention and prompts them to ask, “why?” then I have done well.
An excerpt from the “Wonder” installation in 2017 at the Kennedy Center, Hosted by Yo-Yo Ma, music by Yoko K. Sen
20 years ago, Yo-Yo Ma was given my book, “On the Surface of Things, Images of the Extraordinary in Science,” co-authored with George M. Whitesides. Amazingly, exactly 20 years later, Yo-Yo Ma’s team contacting me to request the use of some of my images from the book for a photography installation at the 2017 Kennedy Center’s ARTS SUMMIT. Can you imagine? I was thrilled to be part of that effort and even more thrilled to have met the truly remarkable and generous Mr. Ma. There is a lesson here, somewhere.