“Stick to the data!” is what we are repeatedly told when we get wild ideas about how to interpret the results of an experiment. It can be unsatisfying for budding scientists with a creative mind to only display a collection of graphs and blotchy bands on a gray background as an output of their work. For the sake of sanity, the little artist hidden in our soul must be given a chance to release the built up steam.
Some scientists choose music. A systematic search may reveal many an instrument hidden underneath lab benches. Serious-looking group leaders have been found to lose their composure playing in heavy metal bands at crazy institute parties.
Others may take pleasure in the visual arts, through photography or painting. Fortunately, biology uses countless ways to manifest its beauty. It is up to the researcher to see it and if possible capture it. Sometimes what we see through the microscope does not provide the data we are seeking for a publication, but it nevertheless inspires a feeling of harmony, or grace, or profoundness, or order, or joy. Those images have a value, if not for the purpose of our PhD, at least for our transcendent wellbeing. So here is our advice: Seize it! Do not entrust it to oblivion! Dwell upon it, transform it, live it! Use it to embellish your surroundings, or to transmit your emotions to others!
Now, FEBS Letters is here to give you an opportunity or at least the motivation, to set free the artist inside you. On the occasion of our 50th anniversary, taking place in 2018, we would love to publish your scientific artwork on the cover of our issues throughout the year. Besides the fame deriving therefrom, there are other ways you may find the experience rewarding. For a start, if your image is chosen to be published on our cover, we will send you a poster-size printed copy of the issue cover. In addition, in December 2018 we will reward the creators of the 3 best covers of the year with a prize of 100€ each. So join us in the celebration and get creative!
The contest is open to all, authors and readers alike. The scope must be scientific, and the image must be your own artwork, photo or product (i.e. holding no copyright). The resolution should be a minimum of 300dpi and the size must be suitable for an A4 cover. Please send your cover proposal to the Editorial Office (firstname.lastname@example.org), adding a sentence about the cover (e.g. idea, description, rationale, method, title). The three best covers will receive a reward of €100 each.