"Visualization is not simply a mediation between an independent world and a human perceiver. An image does not stand between the thing itself and a knowing subject. The selection of specimen, sites, the re-ordering of fields into grids, the operations of tagging, encoding, and marking, these activities reach into the world, arrange it in a pose, and cultivate its accountability. These artifices do not necessarily negate the world's natural accountability, although in some cases they are blamed for distortions and illusions. Instead, they are the very means through which natural order is revealed, ordered, compared, encoded, and quantified. Consequently, in answer to the question of what studies of visualization are about, we can say that they are about the production of scientific reality."
Michael Lynch, "Visual Cultures of Science" (2006)