Why do biologists use so many diagrams?

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Sheredos, Benjamin; Burnston, Daniel; Abrahamsen, Adele; Bechtel, William
conference paper description
Diagrams have distinctive characteristics that make them an effective medium for communicating research findings, but they are even more impressive as tools for scientific reasoning. Focusing on circadian rhythm research in biology to explore these roles, we examine diagrammatic formats that have been devised (a) to identify and illuminate circadian phenomena and (b) to develop and modify mechanistic explanations of these phenomena.