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Influential Pictures and Images in the Development of Science

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We will look at the role of pictures and images in the development of science. With illustrations of the first graphs and illustrated books, the first pictures of spiral galaxies and their influence on Van Gogh’s ‘Starry Night’, the artistic resonances of the Hubble Space Telescope’s images, the mushroom cloud of the atomic bomb and the intricacy of fractals, and even the topological subtleties of Harry Beck’s London Underground map, we will consider some of the visual implications of the modern computer revolution for the conduct and communication of science.

Bio: Professor John D. Barrow FRS is a cosmologist at DAMTP , University of Cambridge, Director of the Millennium Mathematics Project, a Fellow of Clare Hall, the current Gresham Professor of Geometry, and a well known communicator of science and mathematics. His most recent books ‘Cosmic Imagery’ and ‘100 Essential Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know’ were published by Bodley Head in 2008.

This talk is part of the Pembroke Papers, Pembroke College series.

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