Category Archive: Articles

A collection of articles written by students in the Centre for the History of the Sciences at the School of History, University of Kent.

May 17

Emus in space: visualising western and indigenous knowledge

‘Emu in the Sky’ acrylic Margaret Whitehurst

2-image display for Yamajiart Exhibition 2007.   The Emu has great spiritual significance for the Aboriginal people for many male-kin initiation ceremonies. Their sacred role was (is) embedded deeply in place-based cultural attachments.1 Emus were a primary food source during the seasonal egg cycle, and remain frequent subjects in aboriginal art, reflecting their importance in …

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Nov 09

We Have Never Been Silent

Damián Ortega - Cosmic Things, 2002

by Daniel Belteki In my research on the history of the Airy Transit Circle, I am attempting to introduce the concept of assemblage to illuminate both the internal and external multiplicity of singularity objects in their material and non-material contexts (not to be confused with interpretive flexibility which highlights the multiplicity of the interpretations of …

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Jul 01

‘Visualising dynamic theories, what diagrams of molecular pathways represent’ by Filippo Guizzetti

Figure 1. Schematic representation of an animal cell. Encyclopaedia Britannica, 2010. kids.britannica.com

Visualisation is a constitutive and essential part of the scientific activity. From basic research to the production of evidences (Amann and Knorr Cetina 1988), from the development of scientific theories to the stage of public evaluation, several methods of representation are the root from which the scientific discourse unfolds (Pauwels 2006, p.vii; Lynch 1988, p.153). …

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Apr 06

‘Describing Albrecht Dürer’s Philosophy and Practice of Drawing and to What Extent His Drawings Reflect the Way Nature was Perceived at the Time’ by Larissa Warneck

Introduction Albrecht Dürer was one of the leading artists of the Renaissance. His innovative ideas in geometry and the proportion of the human body, his realistic representation of nature, and his imagination in probing new printing techniques, lead to his reputation as the Leonardo Da Vinci of Northern Europe. In this essay I am going …

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Mar 04

The Festival of Britain (1951): Shaping citizens for science

This guide to the 1951 Festival of Britain, as well as two contemporary documentaries, Festival in London (1951) and Brief City (1951-2), show that the Festival clearly inspired contemporary notions of science and the post-war citizen. These sources also show that such notions inspired the development of the Festival itself. They show the importance of …

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Jul 18

Officer! I moustache you a question: The Science of Selecting Soldiers in WWII

Which type of fine- follicled fellow would you pick to be an officer: trimmed, divided, clipped, line or bushy? Wartime researcher G.R. Perberdy gave the matter considerable thought, compiling data on the facial hair of hundreds of participants – whom he helpfully notes were male –  that went through the War Office Selection Boards (WOSBs) …

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Aug 29

Torches of Freedom, or the self-perpetuating promotional power of science

Wake up people! Politicians and corporations are manipulating us. And they’re using all the sophistication of science to do it. Thus is the general tenor of a recent wave of internet news articles and blog entries, illustrating the hidden machinations of the shadowy figures who ‘really’ control our lives. And though the claims made in …

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