Original Article

Cognition, Technology & Work

, Volume 15, Issue 4, pp 373-388

First online:

Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.

Ethnographic notes on visualization practices in tissue engineering research


Visual information is central to several of the scientific disciplines. This paper studies how scientists working in a multidisciplinary field produce scientific evidence through building and manipulating scientific visualizations. Using ethnographic methods, we studied visualization practices of eight scientists working in the domain of tissue engineering research. Tissue engineering is an upcoming field of research that deals with replacing or regenerating human cells, tissues, or organs to restore or establish normal function. We spent 3 months in the field, where we recorded laboratory sessions of these scientists and used semi-structured interviews to get an insight into their visualization practices. From our results, we elicit two themes characterizing their visualization practices: multiplicity and physicality. In this article, we provide several examples of scientists’ visualization practices to describe these two themes and show that multimodality of such practices plays an important role in scientific visualization.


HCI Ethnography Tissue engineering Visualization practices Regenerative medicine