We are delighted to announce VIZBI 2012 (http://vizbi.org/2012/), the 3rd international meeting on ‘Visualizing Biological Data’ – and the first in a series of EMBO conferences on this topic – to be held at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Heidelberg (Germany), 6-8 March, 2012. VIZBI 2012 brings together scientists actively using or developing computational visualization to study a diverse range of biological data; the conference also attracts participation from medical illustrators, graphic designers, and graphic artists. VIZBI 2012 features 22 invited talks from high-profile speakers that will review the state-of-the-art and challenges in visualizing data from genomes, transcripts, proteins, cells, organisms, and populations. Prior to the meeting (5 March), there will also be tutorials on visualization tools & methods. All VIZBI participants have the opportunity to present a poster describing their work. Just before your poster session, you will be given ~60 seconds and 2 PowerPoint slides to briefly introduce yourself and your poster to all VIZBI participants (details here). If you cannot join us in Heidelberg, you have the option of virtual registration, which allows participation via streaming video and chat. Registration is now open, and early registration closes 29 January 2012. The first two VIZBI meetings were timely and energized and have fostered some significant advances in the field; VIZBI 2012 promises no less, and is supported by a greatly expanded organizing team – we hope you can join us for this exciting event!