What is scientific illustriation?
"As art reflects culture, scientific illustration reflects the findings of science and technology. Scientific illustration takes the viewer to the often unobservable — from molecules and viruses to the universe, from depiction of the internal anatomy of arthropods and plants to geologic cross sections and reconstruction of extinct life forms, ranging from realistic to abstract portrayal. Shapes, anatomy, details, and concepts that cannot be conveyed with words form the essence of this art.
Science illustrators are artists in the service of science. They use scientifically informed observation, combined with technical and aesthetic skills to accurately portray a subject. Accuracy and communication are essential." - Guild Handbook of Science Illustration, ©GNSI 1989, 2003