Felice Frankel

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Felice Frankel
Born Brooklyn, New York, United States
Residence United States
Nationality American
Fields Science and engineering photography
Institutions Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Alma mater Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY)
Known for Photographs of scientific and engineering subjects
Notable awards

Fellow of AAAS
Guggenheim Fellow
Lennart Nilsson Award for Scientific Photography
Loeb Fellow
Distinguished Alumna, Brooklyn College, CUNY
Progress Medal of the Photographic Society of America
Chancellor’s Distinguished Visiting Fellow in the
Arts and Sciences at the University of California

Felice Frankel is a photographer of scientific images renowned for the aesthetic quality of her science photographs and her ability to communicate complex scientific information in images.[1]

Early life and education[edit]

Born in Brooklyn, Felice Frankel attended Midwood High School and Brooklyn College of the City University of New York (CUNY), where she majored in biology.


Frankel's photo of ferrofluid (2002)
External video
No Small Matter, Felice Frankel, PRI, Studio 360 video, September 9, 2010
More than Pretty Pictures Felice Frankel, PRI, TEDx Boston video, October 13, 2010
Reimagining Nanotechnology, Felice Frankel, PBS News Hour video, March 9, 2010
How to communicate science visually, Felice Frankel, MIT News video, October 26, 2012

Felice Frankel is a research scientist in the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She also held the positions of Senior Research Fellow in the Harvard University Faculty of Arts and Sciences, and as Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Medical School Department of Systems Biology.

As of 2015, her most recent project was preparing and teaching the first-ever online course addressing science and engineering photography for MITx, the massive open online course (MOOC) program at MIT, called “Making Science and Engineering Pictures, A Practical Guide to Presenting Your Work (0.111x)”.[2]

Working in collaboration with scientists and engineers, Felice’s images have been published in over 200 journal articles, covers and various other international publications for general audiences such as National Geographic, Nature, Science, Angewandte Chemie, Advanced Materials, Materials Today, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Newsweek, Scientific American, Discover Magazine, and New Scientist, among others. She contributed a series of columns, “Sightings", in American Scientist addressing the power of imaging science (2003-2007).[3][4][5]

Felice and her work have been profiled in The New York Times, Wired, Life Magazine, The Boston Globe,[6][7] The Washington Post, The Chronicle of Higher Education, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, Science Friday,[8]The Christian Science Monitor, and various European publications. Her limited-edition photographs are included in a number of corporate and private collections,[9] and were part of MOMA’s exhibition, “Design and the Elastic Mind”.[10] Her work is featured in the MIT Museum exhibition “Images of Discovery: Communicating Science through Photography", on view through February 2016.[11]

She founded the "Image and Meaning" workshops and conferences to develop new approaches for promoting the public understanding of science through visual expression. Felice also was principal investigator of the National Science Foundation-funded program "Picturing to Learn", an effort to study how making representations aids students in teaching and learning.[12]

Awards and honors[edit]


  • Visual Strategies: A Practical Guide to Graphics for Scientists and Engineers, Yale University Press, 2012 (ISBN 978-0300176445)
  • No Small Matter: Science on the Nanoscale, Harvard University Press, 2009 (ISBN 978-0674035669)
  • On the Surface of Things: Images of the Extraordinary in Science, Harvard University Press, 2008 (ISBN 978-0674026889)
  • Envisioning Science: The Design and Craft of the Science Image, MIT Press, 2002 (ISBN 978-0262562058)
  • Modern Landscape Architecture: Redefining the Garden, Abbeyville Press, 1991 (ISBN 978-1558590236)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "She calls it 'phenomena.' Everyone else calls it art". New York Times. 12 June 2007. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  2. ^ "Making Science and Engineering Pictures: A Practical Guide to Presenting Your Work". edx.org. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  3. ^ "Felice Frankel - American Scientist". americanscientist.org. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  4. ^ "Selected Covers – Felice Frankel". felicefrankel.com. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  5. ^ "Selected Publications - Felice Frankel". felicefrankel.com. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Photographer has front-row seat for big scientific discoveries". Boston Globe. June 10, 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  7. ^ "At MIT, seeing is learning as well as believing". Boston Globe. March 27, 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  8. ^ "Picture of the Week: Ferrofluid". National Public Radio, Science Friday. June 15, 2015. Retrieved 28 June 2015. 
  9. ^ "Images in Place – Felice Frankel". Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  10. ^ "Design and the Elastic Mind" (PDF). moma.org. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  11. ^ "Images of Discovery". Mit.edu. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  12. ^ "Picturing to learn". Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  13. ^ "Frankel wins Lennart Nilsson Award" B. D. Colen, Harvard News Office, October 17, 2007
  14. ^ "Novelist Sapphire and CNN anchor Don Lemon to speak at commencement". cuny.edu. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 
  15. ^ "Felice Frankel receives highest award granted by Photographic Society of America". news.harvard.edu. Retrieved 25 June 2015. 

External links[edit]