Sunday, May 8, 2016

Evolution From Blog to Website

For the scientist, the process of peer-reviewed publication forms the foundation for all research. It is a feedback loop - a self-perpetuating and co-dependent exchange of input and output between scientists.

There was a nice piece written a few years ago in Wired magazine about the power of feedback loops. That article explains that all feedback loops have four components: 

1. Evidence
2. Relevance
3. Consequence
4. Action

In regards to science, Evidence = Data.

But raw data alone won't persuade the majority of your audience. From the Wired article:  

"..the information must be relayed to the individual, not in the raw-data form in which it was captured, but in a context that makes it emotionally resonant. This is the relevance stage."

In other words, relevance is a function of how well you are able to communicate your data.

Communicating science to the general public is a notorious challenge for most scientists. But communication even among scientists can be a challenge too. In part, because most scientists today work across disciplines.

In either case, few things can be as helpful to the process as a clear diagram that distills and translates the cognitive beauty of really good data into something that is equally pleasing aesthetically. Since I enjoy producing diagrams, I recently decided to expand this blog into a website (, and offer up my services to other scientists. 

For a nominal fee, I will gladly draw up a publication quality vector diagram according to publisher specifications for any scientist that is interested. I will continue with the blog too, which will also now serve as a gallery for some of my past work (albeit with a different intended audience in mind).

Good science communication with the public feeds back to the researcher in the form of continued funding support for further work. And good science communication within the scientific community feeds back to the researcher in the form of new discoveries, that enable deeper questions to be explored. 

In either case, I believe that a beautiful diagram will reach far more people than data or text can on its own. If you are a scientist, and you think I might be able to help you out in this regard, let's chat. Send me an email through