Photo of Gunnar Höst

Gunnar Höst

Associate Professor

By using visualizations we can learn about things that are too small, too large or too complex for us to perceive. But how do we learn? And what? That is the object of my research.

How and what do we learn from visualizations in science?

Visualization holds a pivotal role in science learning, not least because so much of the content is imperceptible to the naked eye. My research concerns how the properties of images, animations and interactive models affect learning about molecules, cells and other objects too small to be seen.

Scientific models can be visualized using a multitude of visual and linguistic representations. In our studies, we have investigated learning with visualizations ranging from images and animations to tangible models and virtual environments. The research is mainly situated in the science education field and explores learners' interaction, interpretation and learning in relation to the science concepts inherent in a visualization.

Photo credit Thor BalkhedInteraction is an important aspect of science learning with visualizations. Me and my colleagues are interested in mapping interaction onto processes of conceptual learning. We have a particular interest in gestural interactions as well as virtual reality environments that employ haptic technology to provide learners with artificial interactive sensory experiences of scientific concepts such as forces between molecules.

I am also interested in analogies and metaphors in science learning. For example, metaphorical expressions in learners' talk might give insights into their understanding of scientific concepts. Similarly, visualizations might be analyzed in terms of analogical relations with the underlying scientific models. Such approaches are useful for analyzing and explaining differences in learning arising from differences in visualization design.

I am involved in research in a variety of age ranges and educational contexts, from pupils in year 8 of compulsory school  to university students. In addition, me and my colleagues study learning in informal learning settings at the science center Norrköping Visualization center C.



2001 - Master of Science in Engineering Biology, Linköping University

2008 - University Diploma in Psychology, Linköping University

2007 - PhD in Molecular Biotechnology, Linköping University


2014-present  - Senior Lecturer in Visual Learning and communication

2010-2014  - Postdoc in Media and information technology

2007-2010  - Postdoc in Visual Learning and communication


Google Scholar - My profile

ResearchGate - My profile

Orcid - My profile


Selected publications

Cover of publication 'Nano for the Public: An Exploranation Perspective'
Gunnar Höst, Karljohan Lundin Palmerius, Konrad Schönborn (2020)

IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications , Vol.40 , s.32-42 Continue to DOI

Cover of publication 'What Biological Visualizations Do Science Center Visitors Prefer in an Interactive Touch Table?'
Gunnar Höst, Konrad Schönborn, Lena Tibell, Henry Fröcklin (2018)

Education Sciences , Vol.8 Continue to DOI

Cover of publication ''
Gunnar E. Höst, Jan Anward (2017)

International Journal of Science Education , Vol.39 , s.627-644 Continue to DOI

Latest publications


Patrick Schooner, Gunnar Höst, Claes Klasander, Jonas Hallström (2023) Teachers' cognitive beliefs about their assessment and use of tools when evaluating students' learning of technological systems: a questionnaire study International journal of technology and design education, Vol. 33, p. 937-956 Continue to DOI


Gunnar Höst, Konrad Schönborn, Lena Tibell (2022) Visual images of the biological microcosmos: Viewers' perception of realism, preference, and desire to explore Frontiers in Education, Vol. 7, Article 933087 Continue to DOI
Jörgen I. Stenlund, Konrad Schönborn, Gunnar Höst (2022) Design and validation of a deep evolutionary time visual instrument (DET-Vis) Evolution: Education and Outreach, Vol. 15, Article 12 Continue to DOI
Charlotta Nordlöf, Gunnar Höst, Jonas Hallström (2022) Technology teachers talk about knowledge: from uncertainty to technology education competence Research in Science & Technological Education Continue to DOI
Charlotta Nordlöf, Per Norstrom, Gunnar Höst, Jonas Hallström (2022) Towards a three-part heuristic framework for technology education International journal of technology and design education, Vol. 32, p. 1583-1604 Continue to DOI