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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 ( with any questions about this event.