It was Apicius, a Roman gourmet of the 1st Century, who allegedly coined the phrase “We eat first with our eyes” (Delwiche, 2012). Although you probably won’t start to salivate just by looking at these beautiful-made infographics, it is definitely a feast to the eyes. Enjoy the delicious visual exploration of foods and drinks, as well as practical tips and techniques that are indispensable in the kitchen and for throwing the best stress-free parties.
Is structural biology beautiful? If you contemplate the thousands of biological molecular structures deposited in the Protein Data Bank (PDB) – the world’s largest archive of protein, DNA, and RNA structures – you immediately become aware of the intricacy and beauty of these structures. However, they are not displayed in the PDB as pieces of art in an online museum – these structures provide valuable clues about the functions or sites that might serve as drug targets and help researchers worldwide to solve many difficult scientific questions.
On the other hand, there are real pieces of art located in the PDB. Among them, there is the Molecule of the month series, created by David S. Goodsell. Each chapter includes an introduction to the function and structure of the molecule, an analysis of the relevance of the molecule to human health, and suggestions for how visitors can access further details and view these structures, which is perfect for educational purposes.
One artist I have been particularly following and kind of stalking on twitter is Rachel Ignotofsky. She creates beautiful illustrations mainly using two of her favorite school subjects as themes: biology and human anatomy. Although one can argue that the components of the cells she illustrates are not quite accurate, when it comes to getting children excited about science and learn about biology, there is nothing better than some happy Nucleolus or monstrous Golgi apparatus.
Kim Kovel, from USA, was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer in 2015. Cancer is not at all a funny thing, but she had an idea to fight back: with the help of Mark Smith, they created “HELLO my name is CANCER” – an adult coloring and activity book for people undergoing treatment for cancer that helps patients through humor. “Because laughter is the best medicine, and it’s contagious, unlike cancer”. www.hellomynameiscancer.com
Comic art is a great way to educate young people about climate change. With that in mind, the award-winning project ClimAdaPT.Local launched the comic book “Special Report – Adaptation to Climate Change in Portugal”, which can now be used to teach about climate change in classrooms all over Portugal. The book tells the story of a journalist and a cameraman working on a story about climate change and its consequences in Portugal. It is based on real persons and stories and highlights the challenges people face and also possible solutions to address climate change locally.
This comic book was created by Bruno Pinto (writer), Penim Loureiro (drawing) and Quico Nogueira (colour). Another great example of how Art & Science combined can change the view of the world around us. You can download the full comic (both in English and Portuguese) from ClimAdaPT.Local here.
Manuel Lima is a data designer & the founder of Visual Complexity, a resource space for anyone interested in the visualization of complex networks. He speaks frequently at seminars, schools, and festivals around the world about the field of Information Visualization.
Following the popular “The Book of Trees” (about the history of tree diagrams) and “Visual Complexity” (about the representation of networked information), Manuel Lima brings us now a new book called “The Book of Circles”, a compendium of 300+ detailed and colorful images of circles from around the world that date from thousands of years ago up to the present day. You can read more about it here or buy the book here.