UPDATE: We just got word that the July 16 webinar has been rescheduled for Tuesday, August 21 at 9:00 a.m. PDT. So, it’s not too late if you were on vacation or with us at ICC4 in Chicago. Registration is required, however, all July registrations will carry over. If you are not already registered, you can do so here.

Marco Rolandi believes most students, postdocs, engineers and scientists in general are “clueless” about how to use illustrations to communicate their findings to each other and to the general public. Rolandi, an assistant professor of materials science and engineering at the University of Washington, realized that most in his field practice a “trial-and-error” approach to design instead of learning and practicing modern graphic communications techniques — and decided to do something about it.

He sought out the help of Karen Cheng, an associate professor and chair, division of design, in the School of Art at UW. Together with cognitive psychologist Sarah Pérez-Kriz, Rolandi and Cheng have been working to systematize some design lessons and help those in the science and engineering fields to elevate their thinking and skills in creating effective scientific charts, illustrations, schematics, etc. Last year, for example, the trio published a short essay in Wiley’s Advanced Materials,  “A Brief Guide to Designing Effective Figures for the Scientific Paper” (doi: 10.1002/adma.201102518), which we summarized last fall when the paper came out in this post.

Now, Rolandi and Cheng have teamed up with Wiley’s MaterialsViews website (one of our favorites) to present a free webinar on designing scientific figures July 16, 2012, starting at 1 pm EDT (10 am PDT, and 19:00 CEST).

Interested? If so, sign up here.

And, speaking of interesting design concepts, I personally cannot wait to see what gets presented at what I believe is the first sci-tech, high-tech poster session (the Interactive Technology Forum) that will be featured at the upcoming ICC4 conference in Chicago. As I understand it, at least 50 presenters have signed up to participate in the ITF, and hopefully the concept will catch on. Who knows, in a few years and Rolandi and Cheng might be having to expand their teachings from two dimensions to three!