September 13, 2022

Scientific Posters: Much More Than an Illustrated Summary of Research

Creating a good poster is a great exercise in creating a concise and crisp summary of your research.
Michael Diednhofen
Michael Diedenhofen, Ph.D., R&D Scientific Developer and Science Council Fellow at BIOVIA, began his career with an apprenticeship as a chemical laboratory technician. He then went on to study chemistry at the University of Duisburg and continued at University of Marburg, Germany, earning his Ph.D. in Chemistry in 2000. During his thesis work in the group of Prof. Gernot Frenking, he was studying transition metal catalyzed reactions by quantum chemical methods. After completing his Ph.D., Michael accepted a position as computational chemist at COSMOlogic, which was later acquired by Dassault Systèmes. Michael is a member of the BIOVIA Solvation Chemistry group. His work focuses on modeling properties of molecules in solutions, including the development of COSMO and COSMO-RS models. These models have a wide range of applications for research and customer projects, such as: ionic liquids, environmentally relevant data, materials science, life-sciences, and more. Michael has published more than 30 peer-reviewed papers.

When I reflect on the meetings I have attended, the poster sessions remain good memories. Scientific poster presentations are a great way to gain feedback and interact with colleagues.

But let’s start from the beginning, and see what a poster is and what it is supposed to do.

A scientific poster is a concise way of presenting research to a larger audience. It offers the essentials of a scientific project, and allows the reader to grasp the ‘big picture’ in a short amount of time.

A poster can have more details than a lecture, but space is limited. “Less is more” is a guiding principle.

Text and visual elements are combined to achieve this goal.

The appealing placement of visuals guide the reader and convey complex scientific content much better than text can.

Creating a good poster is a great exercise in creating a concise and crisp summary of your research.

Let’s look at the attached example. My colleagues from the Hamburg University of Technology and BIOVIA present an extension of the COSMO-RS model, a method used to predict the properties of molecules in solution.

Scientific Poster

The project aims is to improve the description of ions in solution. The frames help to structure the story, which begins with a short description of the COSMO-RS method. An attractive figure describes the workflow with a minimum of text. The following sections describe the problem, the methods used to solve it, and the results obtained. The story closes with a summary delivering critical take home messages

With this, we achieved the goal of our exercise, but a poster can do much more than showcase scientific results.

During the poster session, it can be a great igniter for scientific discussions, which often go beyond the topics on the poster. This is neither possible by a lecture nor by a publication.

Many times during my scientific career, I approached a poster with a question and left it with new impressions that inspired my research.

If I have piqued your interest, try it yourself. The upcoming BIOVIA Conference 2022 will give you the opportunity to do so.

I look forward to hearing about your exciting research!

BIOVIA Conference 2022 will be a great virtual event, with hundreds of participants. There will be a poster session this year, see the agenda overview for details. We encourage all BIOVIA users to consider preparing a poster showcasing recent research carried out with BIOVIA software.

Please send an abstract before September 14th to, and be prepared to submit the full poster by September 30th.

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