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Issues of representation affect every aspect of scientific activity, from the encoding, display, analysis, and presentation of data to the communication of scientific concepts and information to students and the general public. The essays in this collection explore the issues involved in the creation and deployment of visual representations in both the natural and the social sciences. Visual Cultures of Science offers a mix of theoretical analyses and revealing case studies. The latter address such topics as the technologies of visualization (from X-ray machines to films made by anthropologists), the persuasive power of the graphic presentation of data (including a critique of the work of Edward Tufte), and the distillation of data into pedagogical representations such as scientific wall charts for classroom use. With its useful mix of theory and case study, the book addresses both abstract and practical issues of representation, as well as demonstrating the importance of recognizing historicized perspectives in addressing issues of representation. These essays, by many of the field’s leading minds today, offer solid research and new information pertaining to the methods, purposes, and implications of scientific visual culture.
LUC PAUWELS is Associate Professor of Communication Science at the Univer-sity of Antwerp. His previous publications include De Verbeelde Samenleving (Ima-ging Society) and articles in Visual Studies, Visual Sociology, and Journal of Visual Literacy.
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