Visual Cultures in Science and Technology: A Comparative History

Hardcover | November 5, 2014

byKlaus Hentschel

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This book offers a broad, comparative survey of a booming field within the history of science: the history, generation, use, and function of images in scientific practice. It explores every aspect of visuality in science, arguing for the concept of visual domains. What makes a good scientificimage? What cultural baggage is essential to it? Is science indeed defined by its pictures?This book attempts a synthesis. It delves into the rich reservoir of case studies on visual representations in scientific and technological practice that have accumulated over the past couple of decades by historians, sociologists, and philosophers of science. The main aim is thus located on themeta-level. It adopts an integrative view of recurrently noted general features of visual cultures in science and technology, something hitherto unachieved and believed by many to be a mission impossible.By systematic comparison of numerous case studies, the purview broadens away from myopic microanalysis in search of overriding patterns. The many different disciplines and research areas involved encompass mathematics, technology, natural history, medicine, the geosciences, astronomy, chemistry, andphysics. The chosen examples span the period from the Renaissance to the late 20th century. The broad range of visual representations in scientific practice is treated, as well as schooling in pattern recognition, design and implementation of visual devices, and a narrowing in on the special role ofillustrators and image specialists.

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This book offers a broad, comparative survey of a booming field within the history of science: the history, generation, use, and function of images in scientific practice. It explores every aspect of visuality in science, arguing for the concept of visual domains. What makes a good scientificimage? What cultural baggage is essential to...

Prior to his current full professorship in the history of science and technology at the University of Stuttgart, Klaus Hentschel was a Lecturer/Researcher at the Universities of Berlin, Gottingen and Berne, a Fellow at the Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts 1996/97 and Ernst Ca...

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Format:HardcoverDimensions:528 pages, 9.69 × 6.73 × 0.98 inPublished:November 5, 2014Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198717873

ISBN - 13:9780198717874

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Historiographic layers of visual science cultures3. Formation of visual science cultures4. Pioneers of visual science cultures5. Transfer of visual techniques6. Support by illustrators and image technicians7. One image rarely comes alone8. Practical training in visual skills9. Mastery of pattern recognition10. Visual thinking in scientic and technological practice11. Recurrent color taxonomies12. Aesthetic fascination as a visual culture's binding glue13. Issues of visual perception14. Visuality through and through

Editorial Reviews

"Visual Cultures in Science and Technology is an ambitious tome offering a comparative history of the role of visualization in science and technology throughout the past five centuries. Drawing upon an impressive array of works from numerous disciplines, including the history of science andtechnology, philosophy of science, science and technology studies, art history, and cultural studies, this encyclopedic work will become the standard to which all other subsequent works on visual studies will be compared. The meta-narrative of his comparative approach is predicated on numerousdetailed microanalyses: there is nothing quite like it in the secondary literature." --Myles Jackson, New York University