Research in the biological sciences often depends on the development of new ways of visualizing important processes and molecules. Indeed, the very act of observing and recording data lies at the foundation of all the natural sciences. The same holds true for the teaching and communication of scientific ideas; to see is to begin to understand. The continuing quest for new and more powerful ways to communicate ideas in biology is the focus of BioVisions at Harvard University.
The potential of multimedia in the area of biology education has yet to be fulfilled. Indeed, multimedia as a means of imparting biological information is years behind its use in other areas such as entertainment. BioVisions is meant to close this gap by combining the highest quality multimedia development with rigorous scientific models of how biological processes occur. In addition, this new generation of science visualizations are not meant to simply be simulations or mirrors held up to reality, rather they are designed with a specific pedagogical goal in mind. This means that each decision made on how to represent a given biological process also includes consideration of how best to visually communicate particular aspects of the process.
BioVisions is based on a collaborative community of Harvard scientists, teaching faculty, students, and multimedia professionals. It is directed by Dr. Robert A. Lue, who founded BioVisions with generous and continuing support from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Harvard University.