Molecules and Models: seeing structures
Molecular models participate in attempts to understand the
structure of matter; they are one of the most recognizable of
scientific artefacts, 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 a scholarly literature on models in general
and on specific ones, such as DNA.
The search for the structure of the universe is centuries old. We
often identify the work on John Dalton as marking a significant
change in thinking about the nature of matter. Work on the
structure of matter, that is, of everything, includes many of the
best-known scientific advances of the last two hundred years.
Organised by the Centre for Visual Arts and Culture (CVAC)
this workshop will draw attention to the importance of these
changes in how the world is
, and by extension
ourselves. CVAC’s annual public lecture on
‘The Construction of
will be part of the workshop.
A number of significant questions will be raised at the
• What role have molecular models played in scientific
• Can they therefore help us understand the nature of that
• What role do they play in non-specialist representations of
• How do they illuminate the theme of ‘structure’?
• Might studies of molecular models and representations of
them help us understand ‘visual thinking’?
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.
The workshop will be held from early afternoon on 21 November
2017 until lunchtime on 22 November 2017 at St Mary’s
College (Kenworthy Hall).
For further information contact Professor Ludmilla Jordanovaludmilla.firstname.lastname@example.org