What do DNA’s double helix and a picture of the Earth seen from the Moon have in common? And where does that image of artificial insemination that we have seen a thousand times on newspapers or on TV come from?
Nature Immaginate contains many examples showing how visual dimension has had a significant impact on social and cultural conceptions and perceptions of Nature. Many of the images have become visual convention – and in some cases actual icons on subjects such as human evolution or the structure of the atom.
Containing some 250 colour photographs and illustrations, the book traces the history of each image and documents its social and cultural impact through painting, cinema, comics and advertising.
Galileo could have not represented the surface of the Moon in a certain way had he not had drawing skills acquired during his formal education years; Frankenstein, the so called ‘monster’, metaphor of our biggest fears towards the distortion of natural processes, probably owes his fame more to a Hollywood make-up artist than to his original creator Mary Shelley.
- Massimiliano Bucchi is a Professor of Sociology of Science and Science Communication at the University of Trento
- Elena Canadelli is a History of Science Research Fellow at the University of Padua.