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.

Current Projects

Dr. Christoph Sander: Diagrams in Early Modern Science: the Case of Magnetism


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 



Diagrams and Other Visual Aids in the Early Modern University Classroom

Mordechai Feingold
Online event via Zoom
Nov 11, 2021 17:00 - 19:00

Conference: Diagrams in Science, Science in Diagrams

Online event via Zoom
Jun 14, 2021 - Jun 18, 2021

Measure as Erasure

Emanuele Lugli
Online event via Zoom
Jun 9, 2021 16:00 - 18:00

The Layouts of Paratexts in 16th-century Learned Books

Ann Blair
Online event via Zoom
May 12, 2021 15:00 - 17:00

Magnets, Math, and Diagrams: Turning Visual Aids into Navigational Technology

Laura Georgescu
Online event via Zoom
Mar 24, 2021 15:00 - 17:00

Tracing Courses, Training Sailors

Margaret E. Schotte
Online event via Zoom
Feb 24, 2021 15:00 - 17:00

Division and Affinity: Visualizing Diversity in Natural History, 17th ‒ 18th Centuries

Staffan Müller-Wille, Niklaas Goersch
Online event via Zoom
Dec 9, 2020 15:00 - 17:00
Online via zoom

Verbal and Visual Regimes of Aesthetic Experience in the Royal Society of London, 1650-1720

Alexander Wragge-Morley
Online event via Zoom
Nov 4, 2020 15:00 - 17:00
Online via zoom

Flotsam. Writing the History of Objects Travelling without Texts

Beate Fricke
Online Event – Registration Required
Sep 22, 2020 15:00 - 17:00

Describing and Visualizing the Underworld: Athanasius Kircher’s Mundus Subterraneus and its Context

Monica Azzolini
Online Event – Registration Required
Sep 9, 2020 11:00 - 13:00

Picturing Seeds of Poppy: Microscopes, Specimens and Visualization in 17th Century England

Christoffer Basse Eriksen
Admission until 11:30
Jan 29, 2020 11:00 - 13:00
Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom

Epistemic Imagery and their Functions: the Case of Diagrams

Christoph Lüthy
Admission until 11:30
Dec 13, 2019 11:00 - 13:00
Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom

Making the Map: Shared Knowledge in the Construction of Selenographies

Nydia Pineda de Ávila
Nov 11, 2019 11:00
Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom

Comparative Tables to Choose the Right World-System: Visual Astronomy before Newton

Flavia Marcacci
Oct 10, 2019 11:00
Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom

"Visualizing Science in Media Revolutions"

Sep 18, 2019 17:00 c.t.
Villino Stroganoff, Via Gregoriana 22, 00187 Rom
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