Scientists communicate with pictures (graphs, images, flowcharts, etc) because it's often impossible to convey experimental results with just words. So a picture is truly worth a thousand words, right?
I checked this out by dividing the total words by the number of figure panels in a few recent Reports to Science and Letters to Nature. It seems a picture is worth more like 606 +/- 381 and 296 +/- 97 words, respectively.
Doesn't matter anyways, because scientists are all watching movies these days. Watch the neutrophil (white blood cell) below chasing the little bacteria.