Diagrams in Science
To launch the research group’s investigation into the history of visualizing science, we have embarked on a study of the diagram and the diagrammatic in the late medieval and early modern period. In addition to the geometrical figures in mathematics whose long history extends back to antiquity, diagrams can be found in all branches of medieval and early modern science. The abstract representations of thoughts, the schematic illus-tration of practices and the reproduction of observations were regularly recorded and disseminated through drawings and printed media. By bringing together a wide variety of source materials in the form of diagrams, the aim is to understand how patterns of abstract visualizations have developed and evolved over time. How where diagrams created, what kind of information could be captured by them, and how were traditions adapted to represent new ideas? What was the impact of the printing press on the way, the quantity and the comprehensibility of diagrams? Several lines of inquiry within the research group have focused on these ques-tions, and a conference in June 2020 brought together an even broader group of scholars grappling with these questions. A collected volume of essays is being prepared by Christoph Sander and Sietske Fransen at the moment.
Former Group Members
Pamela Mackenzie, M.A.: Microscope/Macrocosm: Early Modern Technology, Visualization and Representations of Nature
Giosuè Fabiano, M.A.: Natural Light, Religious Time and Mural Painting in Late Medieval and Early Renaissance Italy (c. 1250–1500)
Ashley Gonik, M.A.: Structuring Information: Printed Tables as Organizing Tools in Early Modern Europe
Dr. Christoph Sander: Diagrams in Early Modern Science: the Case of Magnetism