History of science conference organised by Dr Sachiko Kusukawa, Dr Felicity Henderson, Dr Alexander Marr, and Susannah Gibson.

Event details

Science produces some of the most intriguing and arresting images in modern culture, from wildlife photographs to scanning electron microscope images. Yet the historical links between scientific research and visual representation are not always apparent. This conference brings together historians of science and art in order to examine the relationship between science and visual culture in the first hundred years of the Royal Society. We hope that the meeting will demonstrate how art, artists, and print-makers enabled creativity and innovation in science, and the extent to which naturalists and natural philosophers, in turn, transformed visual resources and strategies into something of their own.

This meeting is supported by the AHRC as part of an international network on ‘Origins of science as a visual pursuit: the case of the early Royal Society’. Relevant printed books and manuscripts from the Royal Society’s collections will be on display during the meeting.

Speakers, chairs and commentators include:
Prof. John Barrow FRS
Prof. Lorraine Daston, Max Planck Institute, Berlin
Prof. Paula Findlen, Stanford University
Dr Martha Fleming
Nathan Flis, University of Oxford
Prof. Matthew Hunter, McGill University
Prof. Michael Hunter, Birkbeck, University of London (Emeritus)
Dr Sachiko Kusukawa, University of Cambridge
Dr Urs Leu, Rare Books, Zentralbibliothek, Zurich
Scott Mandelbrote, University of Cambridge
Dr Alexander Marr, University of Cambridge
Prof. Domenico Bertoloni Meli, Indiana University
Dr Kim Sloan, British Museum

Download abstracts of papers here.

Download the full conference programme here.

As part of the meeting, Professor John D. Barrow FRS will give a lecture in the evening on Thursday 21 June, entitled ‘Pictures, Images, and Visualization in Science’. This lecture will be free and open to the public. For further information about the lecture, please visit the event page here.


The conference is open to all, but pre-registration online is essential. The conference fee is £70 (full fee) or £40 (student/retired/unemployed); registration for individual days is also possible at a cost of £40/£25 for Thursday 21 June and £30/£15 for Friday 22 June. The conference fee includes lunch and refreshments on both days (inc. VAT). Please indicate any special dietary requirements in the ‘special requirements’ section on the registration form.

In the event of a registration being cancelled, the Society can only refund the payment if the cancellation is received no later than five working days before the conference.

Please contact Felicity Henderson ([email protected]) with any questions about this event.

See http://royalsociety.org/events/2012/curiously-drawn/ for full details and registration.