Posted in biology, communication and networking, education, medical imaging

Robert Lue: Visualizing Science

Another Seed Magazine profile from their Revolutionary Minds series. Today: Robert Lue.

Robert Lue, the director of life sciences education at Harvard, disagrees with the idea that stuffy old textbooks and and slides are as good as it gets when it comes to science education. Especially in an era when loading a video to YouTube and and Flash animation are skills most kids pick up by the time they’re in middle school, it is important for Lue to make sure that science education is keeping up.

“All generations, he says, expect more from visualizations. In response he has developed a library of wondrous and varied visual tools for teaching science, part of a grand vision concerning the reshaping of science education and ultimately changing the way scientists critique research.”

All I have to say the above statement: Yaaaaay!

The Biovisions Project includes “lush 3-D animations, interpretive talks on science, videos of lab methods, and interactive Flash animations developed in collaboration with high school teachers.” One video to come out of this project is “The Inner Life of the Cell” which has won several awards and is popular among TED followers.

“It’s quite clear that we understand the world primarily through sight,” Lue says. “Somehow we don’t use that in teaching science as we really should.”

Right on, brother!



Beth Kelley is an applied & digital anthropologist with an overall interest in how people engage with and are impacted by their environments and vice versa. This has manifested itself in many ways, by looking at creativity, playful spaces, built environments, and environmental enrichment, sustainability, design research, and integrative and collaborative models of learning such as through play and hands-on learning.