HeSCA Conference

HeSCA ConferenceI arrived in a cool and cloudy Seattle this afternoon for the 46th International Conference on Health & Science Communications. This is the first time I’ve been to this conference although I’ve been involved with the HeSCA for a couple years now. It’s nice to be able to put faces to names and voices. After a thought provoking talk (details to follow later) about the early days of the association there was a fund raising auction that was a lot of fun because all the participants knew each other so well. All in all a very nice group of people.

Tomorrow morning I’ll be on a panel discussing scientific poster production (which I mentioned earlier on Visual Being). I’m going to transfer the notes I worked up in preparation for the session into my wiki and I’ll flesh them out in the next few weeks as time allows. It should be interesting to see how other organizations handle the poster creation process.

Exploratorium: Revealing Bodies

Exploratorium: Revealing BodiesPictures have always played an important role in the scientific process, especially in the history of anatomy Whether woodcut, sketch, sculpture, X ray, or MRI, visual images have helped us observe describe, model, categorize, analyze, and conceptualize the human body. How has this imagery changed the ways we look al our bodies? The Exploratorium invites you to delve into this provocative question posed by Revealing Bodies, an exhibition from March 18 to September 4, 2000, made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the California Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts

Kirsten Anderberg’s Online Vulva Museum

Kirsten Anderberg's Online Vulva MuseumA collection of powerful images put together by altenative journalist Kirsten Anderberg, described as “a rabble rouser living in the Pacific Northwest.”

From the site’s intro:

The following museum includes positive vulva imagery in art, jewelry, sculpture, graphic art, and more. Kirsten is continually saddened to see the widespread disrespect that is displayed towards women’s genitals in most cultures and is offering this website as an alternative for women and men alike, to expand past the corporate, political, and religious brainwashing to learn to love and be proud of the genitals we live with in our lives. Enjoy!”

The site warns that it’s intended for adults and it may be considered NSFW as well.


NetAnatomyNetAnatomy is designed to teach human anatomy to students of the health professions, including undergraduate medical, health sciences, and nursing students. NetAnatomy also serves as a place to review anatomy after one’s initial exposure to the subject, e.g. students beginning a clinical rotation, USMLE (National Board) preparation, etc.”

Quack, Quack, Quack

Quack, Quack, QuackIf you’re in the Philadelphia area in the next few weeks, it looks like the Dali exhibit isn’t the only reason to stop by the art museum. Through June 26th, there’s also Quack, Quack, Quack: The Sellers of Nostrums in Prints, Posters, Ephemera & Books.

This lively exhibition traces the history of the colorful purveyors of patent and quack medicines over the past four centuries. It contains seventy-five works ranging from humorous caricatures of itinerant quacks, flamboyant advertising posters, and promotional pamphlets for rival panaceas (each supported by extravagant claims of efficacy), to prints that document the first governmental attempts to curtail the more flagrant abuses.

Some of us from work are going to be there on a “field trip” in early April. I’ll try to post a review if time allows.

Visual Being

Visual BeingI’d like to invite you to visit another blog I’ve recently become involved with. It’s called Visual Being and it’s being billed as a weblog by and for presentation professionals. If you created, give, moderate, facilitate or provide AV support for any type of presentation, pitch, meeting or conference, there will most likely be content there that’s of interest to you. It’s a project that came out of my involvement with the ICIA’s Presentation Council (which you might want to consider joining if you’re interested in what Visual Being is about). We are only just beginning to get off the ground, lining up contributors, working out the kinks, etc. There are a few posts there now but were hoping to have a lot more stuff in the near future. Enjoy!

Where have you been?

The short answer: I’ve been really, really busy at work.

I was on both Merck teams that presented at FDA advisory committees meetings this year – the MEVACOR OTC meeting in January and the multi-sponsor COX-II meeting last month. After that I took some time off and tried to spend as little time online as was possible. Now I’m back in action and am planning on making TEHI part of my regular routine again. However, I want to try something a little different. Up to now, most of my posts have been quick pointers to other posts or websites with a little commentary tossed in. These posts were fine for getting backlinks and gaining Google ranking, but they were pretty unsatisfying from creative standpoint. I’m now going to try to post longer, more in-depth pieces to the main blog on a less frequent basis. The quick pointers will continue, but will now reside in the sidebar to the right. I’m going to shoot for posting once a week either on Saturday or Sunday.


BreakOkay, I guess it’s pretty obvious by now, TEHI is on a break. Between the holidays and yet another major project at work, I can’t come up with the time to do much posting to the main blog. For the next few weeks, all the action will be in the “Asides” side bar to the right. I can post to it with a minimum investment of time and it has an RSS feed for those of you who prefer to not visit the blogs they read. I have a huge backlog of links to share in my Furl archive so I should be able to keep “Asides” pretty fresh. I plan on being back to posting in the main blog sometime in the middle of January. See you in the new year.

Cover Art: Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal

Cover Art: Emerging Infectious Diseases JournalArt images for the cover of Emerging Infectious Diseases are selected for communication effectiveness, audience appeal, artistic quality, stylistic continuity, and technical reproducibility. Art is drawn from many periods (ancient to contemporary) to ‘humanize’ and enhance the scientific content by creating order and harmony, showing chaos, revealing truth, raising consciousness, immortalizing, surprising, fantasizing, illustrating ideas, stimulating the intellect, and firing the emotions. … Emerging Infectious Diseases is not about art. The journal has a cover to protect the scientific content from the elements. But as a communication tool, art seems to work. Our readers enjoy the covers. We don’t know exactly why. But as Georges Braque once said, ‘There is only one valuable thing in art: the thing you cannot explain.’

[Via eyes of the goof]


ContestsThe Frank Netter Award

For the Vesalius Trust, developing and supporting research and education in visual communications means more than simply raising and dispersing funds. It also means raising the awareness of the health-care community about the value and impact of visual communications, and encouraging researchers and educators to effectively use visual communications.

The Frank Netter Award for Special Contributions to Medical Education annually recognizes the person or persons who have recently developed visually oriented educational materials with either proven or potential impact on the way health sciences are taught and/or practiced. The Award was established in 1990 to honor Dr. Netter’s lifetime contribution to medical education, which greatly aided the advancement of visual communications in the health sciences, and contributed immeasurably to the promotion of medical illustration as a profession.

Entrants have come from around the world, exemplifying excellence in the integrated use of visual communications and instructional technology in medical and health science education.

The application deadline for the 2004 Dr. Frank Netter Award is December 10, 2004.

The 2005 HeSCA Media Festivals

The Health and Science Communications Association is proud to announce the 31th annual HeSCA Media Festi­vals. The Festivals are an international forum for health sciences media. Our goal is to showcase and recognize those individuals and organizations whose works represent the very best in health sciences media production.

Productions entered in the competition are subjected to a demanding peer review using standardized judging criteria. A select number of these entries are presented prestigious awards at special ceremonies held in conjunction with the HeSCA Annual Meeting in Seattle, Washington, June 4, 2005.

All productions are highlighted in the HeSCA Media Festivals Catalog, which has become a standard media reference for the health sciences. Selected entries may also be presented in the “Winners Festival” at the HeSCA Annual Meet­ing. The Catalog, including a list of winners, will be posted to the HeSCA website ( www.hesca.org) immediately following the Annual Meeting.

The HeSCA Media Festival Catalog offers access to your work to a concen­trated group of health science communications profession­als while providing a widely disseminated, permanent media reference.

Entries, Forms & Fees must be Received by January 31, 2005

Mom’s Cancer: “Artist’s conception. Your terror may vary.”

Mom's CancerQ: Why a comic strip?

A: It was the right medium for the story I wanted to tell. Comic strips meld words and pictures to convey an idea with more economy and grace than either could alone. I was inspired to pursue the idea when I accompanied Mom to chemotherapy one day and did a quick sketch of her napping during the several-hour session. That sketch became ‘Arrangement in Grey and Black’ and encouraged me to give “Mom’s Cancer” a try.

[via metafilter]

Help Wanted

Help WantedJust found out the other day that our department’s West Point, Pennsylvania office is looking to hire a graphic designer.

Successful candidates will hold a degree in Graphic Design or related field and have at least 5 years prior work experience. Requirements include proficiency with industry standard graphic design software, such as Adobe InDesign, Illustrator and Photoshop. Proficiency with Microsoft PowerPoint and Word is also needed as well as understanding of scanning techniques and principles, specifically color correction and appropriate resolutions. Competency with specialized software such as Microsoft Excel and Access, Sigma Plot, ChemDraw or Macromedia Flash is a plus. Successful candidates must also be able to work within set deadlines with minimal supervision. Previous pharmaceutical experience is desired but not required.

There’s no direct link to the job listing, but you can search for job number ADM001786 here.

Explore the 3rd World Congress of Medical and Scientific Imaging

Explore the 3rd World Congress of Medical and Scientific ImagingSlated for August 25-29, 2005, registration for the 3rd World Congress of Medical and Scientific Imaging should be open soon:

In keeping with our theme, ‘Explore: Discover the Possibilities’, the 2005 World Congress aims to inform delegates of the latest trends in medical and scientific imaging so that the potential of modern technologies can be fully realised. … The program will consist of 3 days of academic papers, a professional exhibition, and a unique opportunity to take part in a Great Barrier Reef expedition.

See you there? (Oh who am I kidding? Like it would be possible to get the powers-that-be to shake loose the necessary funds.)

“Dust to Dust”: Televised Human Decomposition

When gratuitous sex and violence won’t capture the eyeballs any more, it shouldn’t be surprising that gratuitous decomposition seems like the appropriate next step in the progression to some TV executive somewhere.

Britain’s Channel Four Recruits Rotting Corpse
(Thursday, November 04 03:00 PM)
LOS ANGELES (Zap2it.com) Which is more entertaining: watching paint dry or watching a human body decompose? Thanks to Channel 4, British audiences may soon get to decide for themselves. The tentatively titled documentary “Dust to Dust” will tackle the taboo of rotting human flesh and bring those images into British homes.

According to the Guardian newspaper, producers on the show are currently searching for a terminally ill patient whose family is willing to sign off on letting a national television audience watch him rot. After the patient’s death, the body will be placed in a private area of London’s Science Museum and a number of cameras and scientists will get to watch the body decompose.

[via boingboing]

The Protein Sculptures of Julian Voss-Andreae

The Protein Sculptures of Julian Voss-AndreaeMy current work plays on the sensuality and beauty which underlies sense and being itself. My work takes a literal look at the foundation of our physical existence. I create sculptures of proteins, the universal building blocks of life. … Creating organically shaped sculptures out of a large number of geometric pieces fascinates me, because the complexity of a living being is similarly made up of simple “inanimate” subunits. I want to follow science in its reductionist approach and present its isolated finds in an art context. Science needs to separate; it requires the scientist to detach himself from the observed object and separate the object into its parts in order to objectively analyze it. Art, on the other hand, requires the artist to become one with the object in order to transform it into an art object. Because of this, art has the unique power to heal what has been separated: The art object is an object that has been given life by the artist and the ability to live in the viewer. My protein sculptures offer an emotional experience of a world that is usually accessible only through our intellect.

[via Btang Reblog]

PowerPoint Live

PowerPoint LiveRobert Linstrom, author of Being Visual and fellow member of the ICIA’s Presentations Council, recently wrote a comprehensive wrap up of PowerPoint Live for the InfoComm website.

PowerPoint® transmogrifies! explores many of the issues crucial to communications professionals in today’s working environment and reviews the technology exhibited at the show that’s extending PowerPoint into realms no one would have even considered plausible a few years ago. I think it’s been fairly obvious that Microsoft has been attempting to position PowerPoint as a Flash analog with a somewhat less daunting learning curve and a much broader user base. The tools and technologies seen at PowerPoint Live seem to confirm the viability of this trend.

Mother Nature is not the only one capable of madcap experiments with new life forms. The progression of Microsoft® PowerPoint® from a lowly, black-and-white-only electronic presentation tool to a ubiquitous, media-rich facilitator of tens of millions of presentations per day is one of the strangest tales in the history of computer software. From annual meetings of FORTUNE 500® companies to digital scrapbooks of the family vacation, PowerPoint® has shown itself to be surprisingly adaptive. … The morphing of PowerPoint into an enhanced media-communications platform could be called the dominant theme at this year’s PowerPoint Live conference, though such a claim did not appear in the conference literature. Nearly 200 users and 20 vendors gathered Oct. 10-14 in San Diego to share tips, tricks and strategies. Overall, the effect was that of a fan club meeting genetically blended with a professional development conference. The attendees were a mix of serious PowerPoint groupies and communications gurus — roughly equivalent to the Star Trek fans who attend conferences in full Klingon regalia — and avid newbies, who aspire to be masters of the Master Slide.

I also would like to recommend Rob’s most recent project: Being Spherical. It’s one of those books that can really change the way you look at everything.

Vital Visionaries

Vital VisionariesArticle in the NIH Record.

Creating art with older “teammates” made first-year medical students more sensitive to older people, according to results of the Vital Visionaries (VV) collaboration, a pilot program developed by the National Institute on Aging in conjunction with Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the American Visionary Art Museum (AVAM) in Baltimore. … Launched in March 2004 as a pilot project, the VV program paired 15 first-year medical students from Johns Hopkins with 15 older people from the Baltimore area. The two-person teams met and learned from older visionary artists, took a contour drawing class and worked on various art projects at AVAM in conjunction with its year-long exhibition, ‘Golden Blessings of Old Age/Out of the Mouths of Babes.’

The AVAM is a fantastic institution with a sky-high inspiration quotient. I strongly recommend that you visit the next time you get to Baltimore.

Ouch: Kidney Stone Photographs

Ouch: Kidney Stone PhotographsKidney stone photographs from the Louis C. Herring & Co. Kidney Stone Analysis Laboratory (“We Leave No Stone Unturned”). Painfully and surprisingly beautiful. There’s also poetry in their reports and analyses as well as in they way they describe the initial visual inspection of the stones:

The true nidus is invisible because it is the first crystal or aggregate of crystals precipitated from solution and deposited at what eventually becomes the stone site. An “apparent nidus” is either a region from which crystalline forms radiate or the geometric center surrounded by concentric laminations.

[via lonita’s links log]

Coke versus Pepsi: It all depends on how you look at it

Coke versus Pepsi: It depends on how you look at itThe preference for Coke versus Pepsi is not only a matter for the tongue to decide, Samuel McClure and his colleagues have found. Brain scans of people tasting the soft drinks reveal that knowing which drink they’re tasting affects their preference and activates memory-related brain regions that recall cultural influences. Thus, say the researchers, they have shown neurologically how a culturally based brand image influences a behavioral choice. These choices are affected by perception, wrote the researchers, because ‘there are visual images and marketing messages that have insinuated themselves into the nervous systems of humans that consume the drinks.’ Even though scientists have long believed that such cultural messages affect taste perception, there had been no direct neural probes to test the effect, wrote the researchers. Findings about the effects of such cultural information on the brain have important medical implications, they wrote.

Full news release on EurekAlert.

[via boingboing]

Virtopsy®: “Graphic, yes. Gory, no”

Virtopsy®: Autopsy Without a ScalpelVirtopsy® was born from the desire to implement new techniques in radiology for the benefit of forensic science.

From the Popular Science article “Why Give a Dead Man a Body Scan?“:

It’s a criticism supported by the cacophony of the courtroom, where prosecutors and defense lawyers often present dueling pathologists, each reinterpreting autopsy reports to favor one side or the other. Complicating a jury’s difficulty in following such arguments are the typically gore-drenched autopsy photos that prompt many to turn away in horror. “We [in Switzerland] are not so used to shows like CSI,” Thali points out. “It can be a real problem.” In the future that Thali envisions, any pathologist taking the witness stand can bloodlessly redissect the victim in full view of the jury by calling forth the original data stored on the discs. “Graphic, yes. Gory, no,” he says.

Seeing Is Believing

Seeing Is BelievingIllustrations were essential in spreading new scientific and medical ideas and it was often the case that new developments in the sciences were accompanied by corresponding developments in illustrative techniques. These techniques are the subject of Seeing Is Believing, which complements an exhibition of the same name on view from October 23, 1999-February 19, 2000 at The New York Public Library’s Humanities and Social Sciences Library.

Laura Ferguson: The Visible Skeleton Series

Laura Ferguson: The Visible Skeleton SeriesBeauty rendered from deformity.

“Because I am an artist and tend to think in visual terms, I needed to be able to picture what my scoliotic spine looked like. As I began to learn about anatomy, I realized that the imagery was quite visually compelling, and could be interesting on many levels, from the literal to the metaphorical. I decided to undertake “an artistic inquiry into scoliosis.” I would use my artist’s duality: living through the experience and at the same time observing it and turning it into art. Scoliosis is a flawed model of the beautifully designed human musculoskeletal system, but I wanted to portray it as having its own more complex beauty, one that viewed deformity as differentness, and differentness as individuality.”

50 of these multi-layered paintings based on medical images of the artist’s own skeleton are currently being exhibited at the National Museum of Health and Medicine.


Okay, enough tweaking and fooling around. There will be a new post on TEHI by this weekend. In the meantime, as you will have noticed if you actually visited the site and aren’t reading this via RSS feed, I’ve added a random quote function to the top of the page. I plan on keeping the quotes used here pretty well focused on scientific visualization. Please feel free to share any quotes that you think would be a good fit. I would also appreciate it if you could let me know of any other features that you would like to see added to TEHI.


MovedWell, TEHI is now in it’s new digs and I’m busy unpacking boxes and moving stuff around. Please feel free to drop me a comment if there’s something not working right or a there’s a feature you would like added. I’m planning on getting back to regular posting by the end of the week.


Sorry for the lack of posts lately. Things have been very busy at work and I’ve been looking to change The Eyes Have It over to a new content management system. After a lot of research and several test drives, I have finally decided to go with WordPress. If you’re interested, you can follow the progress of my attempt to port my Blogger template to the new system here. It’s pretty ugly, I know, but I only have time to work on it on the weekends. I have about 40 ideas for future posts in my Furl account so once thing settle down I should be coming back strong.

StreamOR: Next Generation Education

StreamOR: Next Generation EducationFree Streaming Surgical Videos. Featuring the World’s First SurgeonCam and the The Digital Endoscopy Fellowship. A Digital Window to the OR for Physicians, Trainees, and Patients. Featuring Cutting Edge Open and Endoscopic Surgery From the World’s Leading Medical Centers. New videos are added daily – check back soon for clip-links that are not yet active. Surgery is an inherently visual art. It must be seen to be understood.

PHIL: The Public Health Image Library

PHIL: The Public Health Image LibraryMuch of the information critical to the communication of public health messages is pictorial rather than text-based.

(Couldn’t have said it better myself.)

Created by a Working Group at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), PHIL offers an organized, universal electronic gateway to CDC’s pictures. We welcome public health professionals, the media, laboratory scientists, educators, and the worldwide public to use this material for reference, teaching, presentation, and public health messages. The content is organized into hierarchical categories of people, places, and science, and is presented as single images, image sets, and multimedia files.

[via Forward]

Hiatus (Again)

Hiatus (Again)The Eyes Have It will be on hiatus for the rest of the Spring. I have a couple major projects to get off the ground and I need to make a dent in the pile of books that’s been accumulating since I started using Bloglines. I’m planning on returning shortly after Memorial Day, let’s say sometime during the first week in June. Please continue to sent me any material that you think needs to be mentioned here. See you in a few weeks. (Thanks to Jackson Gastroenterology for the apt image.)