If pictures are worth a thousand words, then they must be worth at least a couple of hundred data points. Plenty of scientific concepts are better displayed with graphics than with texts, and every year the National Science Foundation and Science Magazine highlight the best science visualizations of the year.
The 2009 winners represent a diverse range of fields, from medicine to math to statistics. However, they all manage to distill highly technical scientific concepts into easily understandable pictures, films, and interactive creations.
Check out our gallery of first place finishers. I could write more about each one, but I promise you, the pictures do a better job than I ever could.