Images of Science

Images of Science : A History of Scientific Illustration

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The portrayal of scientific discoveries has a long, though not always honourable, history. Many of the pioneers of scientific illustration can be proved today to have attained a high level of observational accuracy, while some of their successors were neither so painstaking nor so scrupulous. The subject has featured a host of plagiarists who deliberately misappropriated the ideas of others, often perpetuating errors for generations and precipitating a decline in the professional standards upheld by their forebears.
In this superbly illustrated survey, Brian Ford unravels many strands in the development of scientific knowledge over the centuries, showing how the study of illustration provides a retrospective view of the conduct of research. The accuracy of illustrations from certain periods can be seen to reflect the contemporary status of a particular science, while in some cases identical images have recurred over the centuries. Comparison of derivative works with their predecessors is highly instructive, revealing a 'family tree' of images descended from a single original. By retracing some of these patterns, the author shows how discoveries have been incorporated into the body of knowledge and, equally important, how errors have been perpetuated and misinformation compounded. Photographs of the author's detailed recreations of some of the pioneering experiments of early workers such as Hooke and Leeuwenhoek supplement the many printed and manuscript examples.
Drawing on a wealth of pictorial, biographical and bibliographical sources in The British Library and other major collections worldwide, and covering the whole range of scientific disciplines, Images of Science is a detailed and very accessible account of the development of scientific illustration from the works of the earliest civilizations to the dawn of modern science.
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Product details

  • Hardback
  • 223.52 x 292.1 x 86.36mm | 1,406.13g
  • United States
  • English
  • Illustrations, unspecified
  • 0195209834
  • 9780195209839

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