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Visual Science: The Art of Research

Event Date as Display String:

Monday, December 23, 2019, 11:00am - 4:00pm


The Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, 1 Oxford St. , Cambridge



Event Description:

This exhibit features images and objects drawn from a variety of
disciplines and time periods that show the importance of visual
experiences in science. Images have played many roles in scientific
research. Images can record fleeting observations, whether a painting
of an animal glimpsed in the field or an interaction between
sub-atomic particles that lasts a millisecond. They can also make
unseen things visible. Physical models can make abstract mathematical
concepts into something that researchers can touch; properly arranged,
sand, metal plates, and a violin bow can make sound waves into images.
Finding patterns in both kinds of images, or painstakingly
transforming images into data can lead to new discoveries. Images also
play a role in summarizing, clarifying, and communicating ideas.
Compelling images have often helped people understand and accept
radically new ideas, turning what might at first be a hard to
understand into a new commonsense understanding. Other times, visual
representations can help students develop intuitions about their
subject, whether about the structure of crystals or the stages of an
embryo's development. Images can also communicate complex and layered
information, such as the complete design of a steam engine, in a
compact and portable format. Looking closely at the use of images
highlights the skills needed to create and interpret images.
Scientists have often worked hand-in-hand with artists, sculptors,
painters, and photographers. In doing so they make technical and
aesthetic choices that shape the final image. Images can reveal as
much about those who made them as they do about the phenomena being
studied. Images can also be hard to interpret, with successful
researchers developing a knack for recognizing important details and
patterns. With large scale reproduction images, three dimensional
objects, and films, this exhibit offers visitors a sampling of this
rich topic.



Event Start Date as Date Type:

Monday, December 23, 2019 - 11:00 to 16:00



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