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Images as Scientific Objects



Lorraine Daston (MPIWG), Michael Hagner (ETH Zürich), Claudio Pogliano (Università di Pisa), Hans-Jörg Rheinberger (MPIWG), Renato Mazzolini (Università di Trento)

In recent years, in collaboration with art historians, historians of science have carefully studied the technological, social and aesthetic dimensions of scientific drawings, photographs, diagrams, computer images etc. However the physical production of images deserves more research, as both the aesthetic effect and the epistemic content of an image depend crucially on the processes though which it is made. Another component that has been hitherto neglected is the question to what extent images and their production represent visual thinking used as a mode of scientific reasoning.
The members of this working group came together in a founding meeting in August 2007 to discuss theoretical concepts of ‘image’ and ‘visualisation’.
In consequence, the Invisible Seminar 2008 brings together ten junior scholars who each write the biographies of a scientific image.
To continue the discussion on visualisation, a workshop on Ways of Voyaging through the Human body is set up.