At Biocanvas, we provide an accessible platform for scientists to communicate their research to a universal audience. By bridging the gap that divides the public and science, our vision is to revitalize the public’s knowledge of and passion for scientific endeavors.

Bridging the gap

The public makes science possible. They provide their tax dollars and opinions, expecting groundbreaking research to benefit society. In turn, scientists have a responsibility to communicate their research to the public. But that’s tricky: As scientists struggle for ways to explain what they do, the public disengages from science because it’s “too hard to understand,” “boring,” or “irrelevant.”

Biocanvas empowers scientists to use a new medium to illustrate their work: art. Beautiful, dramatic images captured during the research process spark curiosity and wonder in viewers of all backgrounds. The premise is simple, but it works.

What you can do

Over 170,000 readers worldwide rely on Biocanvas to bring science into everyday conversations, classrooms, and homes. Our readers come from diverse backgrounds: adults without a post-secondary education, middle school students, aspiring undergraduates, and even those not really sold on science. This is your chance: If you’re a scientist, help us transform the way people approach science by submitting an image to us.

What we will do

After you submit to Biocanvas, our team will analyze the image, create a “story” based on your caption, and encode hotspots for interactivity. We will then launch it on our site for everyone to see!

By submitting, you agree to the Terms of Submission as outlined by our host platform, Tumblr. You also agree to Terms of Submission specific to Biocanvas:

  • You certify that you hold the rights to grant the permissions as outlined by Tumblr’s Terms of Submission
  • We will use the images by posting them on our website or any publicity associated with promoting the image or Biocanvas
  • If we use them in any other way, we will always contact you for permission first

An important note: your data is your data! We get it; we’re scientists, too. Data is precious, so submit images you feel comfortable broadcasting to the world. Your images will always be credited with your name and institution, unless you tell us otherwise.

You also allow Biocanvas to draft content and hotspots for your image guided by the caption you submit to us. Unless you specifically indicate to us otherwise in the submitted caption, the content we generate will not be submitted to you for final approval, and you will not be notified when your image is posted. Submission of an image and caption does not guarantee a posting to Biocanvas.


  • Images should be high-quality, aesthetic representations of some kind of scientific observation
    • This can be directly related to the research you do or not. If it’s the former, this is a great chance, for example, to convince your parents why studying C. elegans is so awesome and will change the world.
  • Images can be captured by any means (e.g. confocal microscope, scanning EM, data visualization, etc.)
  • Images should be the original work of the submitter and not be published or committed to a publication elsewhere
  • Provide contact information and a brief caption with the image
    • Contact information includes your name, institution (if applicable), and email address (we will credit your images with your name and institution, unless you tell us otherwise)
    • A successful caption should be 1-3 sentences, describing the subject of the image and why the image was taken. What’s the cool story behind it? What do all the different colors represent? What kind of cells are they? Why should the public care about what it is? Feel free to be as scientific or as colloquial as you like.
    • Make sure to let us know if you want final approval of the generated caption and/or notification if your image is posted

Any questions? Feel free to shoot us an email!

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