Microscopy is a wonderful method to reveal worlds that were previously too small to be seen. As modern microscopes produce multidimensional data, we can create visual representations of nature and share them with everyone. In recent years, using visuals from microscopy has become a great tool to engage people across all ages, backgrounds, and knowledge [1,2].
As a biomedical scientist, microscopy data typically mean work for me, but ever since I looked through a microscope for the first time, microscope data also meant art for me. In recent years, I transformed our data into science art and shared it via social media (Twitter @KuglerElisabeth). The science art I shared was about my work on blood vessels of the brain and special cell types of the eye to understand how the brain and eye form in development.
“Like the work of some mighty genie of Oriental fable, the brazen tube [of the microscope] is the key that unlocks a world of wonder and beauty before invisible, which one who has once gazed upon it can never forget, and never cease to admire” – Evenings at the Microscope, Philip Henry Gosse, 1859
Microcosms: A Homage to Sacred Plants of the Americas takes microscopy science art to another level, raising awareness about the ancient meaning and importance of plants. For someone growing up in the Alps, having a close connection to the mountains, foraging edible food and adapting to the nature around us, plants have always an important aspect of my life. But only when I had my first botany class at university, when we sliced and stained a simple onion to look at individual cells under the microscope, the breath-taking beauty of nature became clear to me all over again.
Together, microscopy science art is a new and exciting avenue to share, inspire, and appreciate the world around us.
 Michael J. Barresi, Enrico Coen, Elisabeth Kugler, Jamie Shuda, Derek C. Sung; Engaging new audiences with imaging and microscopy. Development 15 September 2021; 148 (18): dev199942. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/dev.199942
 Elisabeth Kugler and Ryan MacDonald, Visualising Vision in Zebrafish, NatureVolve Issue 10, https://issuu.com/naturevolve/docs/naturevolve_issue_10/s/14842677
Dr Elisabeth Kugler
www.elisabethKugler.com |@KuglerElisabeth | Director of Zeeks – Art for Geeks Ltd