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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Past Events

Evidence on Trial Public Lecture - What you See Depends on How you Look: Time & Space in Scientific Imagery

25th January 2016, 18:15 to 19:15, Kingsley Barrett Room, Calman Learning Centre, Dr Patricia Fara (Clare College, Cambridge)

Time seems to flow by – so how can it be captured in a static image? Space stretches out in every direction – so how can it be represented on a piece of paper in two dimensions? Scientists often claim to create objective versions of reality – but is it possible to eliminate subjectivity and human judgment? Patricia Fara reviews the visual languages and conventions that make seeing believing.


Patricia Fara has a degree in physics from Oxford University and a PhD in History of Science from London University. She lectures in the History and Philosophy of Science department at Cambridge University, where she is the Senior Tutor of Clare College. Her major research specialities are science in eighteenth-century England and scientific imagery, but she also writes and lectures on topics related to women in science. A regular contributor to popular journals as well as radio and TV, she has published a range of academic and popular books on the history of science. Her Science: A Four Thousand Year History (2009) is translated into nine languages and was awarded the Dingle Prize by the British Society for the History of Science. Her most recent book is Erasmus Darwin: Sex, Science and Serendipity (2012); others include Newton: The Making of Genius (2002), An Entertainment for Angels: Electricity in the Enlightenment (2002), Sex, Botany and Empire (2003) and Pandora's Breeches: Women, Science and Power in the Enlightenment (2004), as well as a book designed for teenagers – Scientists Anonymous: Great Stories of Women in Science (2005). She is currently working on a book about women, science and suffrage during World War One.

This lecture is free and open to all.


Map – The Calman Learning Centre is denoted at building number: 43.

Contact for more information about this event.