Visualizing Science 2014

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This past spring, we asked faculty, staff and students in the College of Natural Sciences community to send us images that celebrated the extraordinary beauty of science and the scientific process. We were looking for that moment where science and art collide and we succeeded.

The pursuit of science often entails a visual aspect, as researchers visually communicate their discoveries and explore the topics they find fascinating. Haeckel created beautiful color illustrations of organisms, Hooke sketched his astronomical and microscopic observations, Darwin traced evolutionary trees in his notes, and da Vinci drew anatomical masterpieces, just to name a few.

More and more, scientific visualizations are becoming part of the discovery process itself. Researchers often use 3-D models and data visualizations to expose hidden patterns in data or to reveal the inner workings of life and the universe.

Here are the seven most stunning submissions from our scientific community. The first six images were chosen by committee based on their beauty and scientific merit. These images are also being displayed in the University of Texas TowerWelch Hall, and the Kuehne Physics Mathematics Astronomy Library inRobert Lee Moore Hall beginning the last week of September. The final image, our People’s Choice winner, was chosen by the public on our Facebook page.

At the end we offer a video that delves into the minds of our finalists, revealing the story and meaning behind each image.