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Science, Imagination and the Illustration of Knowledge

7 – 8 November 2013

Organised by Dr. Sheena Calvert and Adrian Holme (Illustration Research)

in collaboration with University of Oxford Museums and Collections

Selected papers were published in the

Journal of Illustration Vol 3 issue 1

guest edited by Calvert and Holmes.



‘Every great advance in science has issued from a new audacity of the imagination.’
John Dewey

The Science, Imagination and the Illustration of Knowledge symposium considered the contemporary and historical role of illustration in relation to the collection, processing, understanding, and organisation of knowledge and associated questions of epistemology and pedagogy.

The symposium was organised by Illustration Research in collaboration with the Oxford University Museum of Natural History, the Pitt Rivers Museum, and the Museum of the History of Science and these world famous collections will provide an important context for the exploration of these issues alongside presentations from curators.

  • Drawing as a means of investigating the world

  • Diagrams, working drawings and field notes

  • Books and manuals, info-graphics, instructional and pedagogic material

  • Visual taxonomies, classification and differentiation of categories of knowledge

  • Visualising the invisible

  • Visualising the body

  • Phantasms, grotesques, shadows: the imagined body

  • Science and magic

  • Healing images

  • Darwin’s legacy

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