Summer Journal Club: What (how) do we learn from images?

Organizers: Hanna Worliczek (McDonnell Scholar) & Karl Matlin (McDonnell Affiliate)
Please contact Karl Matlin ( to receive the readings.

Microscopic imaging and data visualization are essential tools to generate knowledge in biological research. The MBL has a longstanding tradition of developing and applying novel as well as established imaging methods. In this tradition, this Summer Journal Club aims to provide a platform for discussing central aspects of visual knowledge and their impact on knowledge production, guided by a central question: What and how do we learn from images?

Each session is based on questions and readings that are intended to stimulate discussions on the respective topics of: facts and artefacts, intervention and objectivity, innovation and new methodologies, imaging standards and beauty, morphology and function, biological diversity and spatial organization. Each session will have short assigned readings and an aural-visual introduction to the topic discussed. Both will serve as a basis to discuss perspectives on imaging and visualization represented by the participants.

All meetings will be held at noon in the Grass Reading Room (2nd floor, Lillie Building) unless otherwise stated.
DateSession Title
July 19What is involved in microscopic imaging? Of interference and intervention, selectivity and objectivity.
July 26How do we know what we see is real? Of facts, artefacts, reference systems & validation.
August 2When can images stand alone? Epistemological roles of images.
August 9How had morphology changed through molecularization? A history of immunofluorescence microscopy in cell biology
August 16Is a good image beautiful? Of imaging standards, beauty, and persuasion.
August 23How to visualize biological diversity and spatial organization? Of FISH, pangenomics, and metagenomics.
August 30Do images show us function? Of gene ontology and molecular mapping of the cell.