Marketing for Scientists: How to Shine in Tough Times

chapter 9

Links for Chapter 9. Writing Proposals and Making Figures

I like to say there are three kinds of figures every scientist needs: the beautiful butterfly figure, the family portrait figure and the Jenny Craig figure. The three figures can help us appeal to different regions of the brain that are involved in scientific decision making.

Example of a Beautiful Butterfly figure










A beautiful butterfly figure by Preston MacDougal illustrating the valence-shell charge concentation of oxygen in water.  We use figures like this at the beginnings of our presentations and proposals to capture the attention of our audiences. The website My Art In Science contains many such beautiful images made by scientists; that’s where I found this one.

Family Portrait Figure
Example of a Family Portrait figure.









A family portrait figure like this one depicts the work of many scientists at once. These are good figures to show next in a talk, after the beautiful butterfly figures, to provide background information and make all the local experts feel included.

Jenny Craig figure
Example of a Jenny Craig figure.









A Jenny Craig figure is the crucial figure for illustrating the impact of your Signature Research Idea—the one you’re promoting in the talk.  It shows the state of the art before and after your SRI appears on the scene, sort of like the before and after picture used to sell diet programs, cold medicine or cleaning products.   Here’s one from “Structural hierarchies define toughness and defect-tolerance despite simple and mechanically inferior brittle building blocks” by Dipanjan Sen & Markus J. Buehler, Scientific Reports, July 2011.



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