Molecules and Models: Seeing Structures (CfP, Durham University, 21-22 November 2017)

This two-day workshop is organised by Durham University’s Centre for Visual Arts and Culture (CVAC) as part of the Institute of Advanced Study Theme for 2017/18 – Structure. It will run from the afternoon of Nov 21st until lunchtime on Nov 22nd  in Kenworthy Hall, St Mary’s College, Durham University.

Call for Papers

We invite proposals for short papers to be given at this workshop.  If you would like to present to it, please email Ludmilla Jordanova AND CVAC with an abstract of no more than 250 words and a short CV. The closing date for submissions is 03 July. Decisions will be made within two weeks. We welcome proposals from early career researchers. Papers should be interdisciplinary, accessible to non-specialists and have a focus on visual culture.

It is hoped to present a proposal for a special issue to the Science Museum Group Journal (a peer-reviewed e-journal) following the meeting.

Molecular models participate in attempts to understand the structure of matter; they are one of the most recognizable of scientific artifacts, featuring, for example, in Maggie Hambling’s celebrated portrait of Dorothy Hodgkin and in the much-reproduced photograph of Watson and Crick beside a model of DNA. There is now an extensive scholarly literature on models in general and on specific ones, such as DNA. The meeting will consider the specifically visual properties and impact of molecular models, for example, in advertising and popular culture.

Questions to be addressed include:

  • What roles have molecular models played in scientific practice?
  • How do they help us understand the nature of that practice?
  • What roles do they play in non-specialist representations of science?
  • How do they illuminate the theme of ‘structure’?
  • Might studies of molecular models and representations of them help us understand ‘visual thinking’?

 

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