The Art of Theoretical Biology

New Springer book visualizes the beauty and complexity of theoretical biology and showcases science as art 

Heidelberg | New York, 09 June 2020

© Springer The book is a confluence of aesthetic and analytics in theoretical biology, which continues to be somewhat inaccessible for many despite its significant contributions to the scientific understanding of nature, biology, and medicine. With The Art of Theoretical Biology, the editors Franziska Matthäus, Sebastian Matthäus, Sarah Anne Harris, and Thomas Hillen celebrate the diverse world of scientific data through showcasing compiled images from data analysis, numerical treatment of a model, or simulation results. Throughout the journey of their book, at the nexus of art and science, they communicate scientific knowledge and understanding through compelling images and visualize theoretical biology.

The book is a collection of 71 contributions from more than 120 authors. Each contributing author provides a personal insight into the scientific aspect as well as a short explanation of the artistic vision displayed, in their own words. The reader is, therefore, able to discover the hidden beauty of roots, dives into landscapes of lymph nodes, which all symbolize how theoretical biology represents more than numbers and formulas. “The images show how beauty can arise in the darkest of places, such as in the breakdown of cell function during cancer, and how complexity generates richness in unexpected ways”, the editors state.  

Their work is an inspiring contribution to visualize science creatively and through different eyes. It is suited to experts and non-experts alike as it makes things that are not easily accessible, like the field of oncology, more accessible. If one is open to view something through a different pair of eyes, one is open to a new way of thinking and to support discoveries. The images in the book expose how creativity, both in science and art, is essentially about advancing discoveries.  

About the editors

The editors share a passion for data analysis and advancing science through data and mathematics. Franziska Matthäus holds the Giersch professorship in bioinformatics at the Goethe University Frankfurt, Germany. She is interested in the chemical and mechanical regulation of cell motility and uses mathematical models to understand pattern emergence from internal regulation and cell-cell interaction. Sebastian Matthäus is an expert in illustration and animation and head of a graphic design firm in Berlin. Sarah Anne Harris is an associate professor of biological physics at the University of Leeds in the UK, and her research uses high-performance supercomputing to model how biological molecules move and interact. Thomas Hillen is a professor and Associate Chair at the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences at the University of Alberta in Canada, and president of the Canadian Applied and Industrial Mathematical Society (CAIMS). He is interested in the mathematical modelling of cancer and virus infections.

F. Matthäus, S. Matthäus, S. Harris, T. Hillen (Eds.)
The Art of Theoretical Biology
2020, 162 p. 72 illus., 66 illus. in color
Hardcover 32,99 € | £27.99 | $39.99 | 
ISBN 978-3-030-33470-3
eISBN 978-3-030-33471-0

Further information

About the Book 

The Art of Theoretical Biology

Services for Journalists

Journalists can request an electronic review copy of the book The Art of Theoretical Biology


Stefanie Schulmeyer | Springer Nature | Communications
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