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Mar 8

Icons of science

March 8 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm GMT

World-renown art historian Martin Kemp unpicks the most iconic images in scientific history and discovery.

Martin Kemp explores the evolution of iconic scientific images since the Renaissance, unravelling the powerful narratives behind these visual representations that have come to symbolise entire fields of study.

The talk will highlight the unique nature of scientific icons, drawing a sharp contrast with their artistic counterparts. Kemp’s reference to DNA as the “Mona Lisa of modern science” is an intriguing entry point into a discussion on how these symbols transcend individual works of art, becoming generic representations embodying entire scientific concepts. From the iconic double helix to the famous equation E=mc², Kemp guides the audience through various images from physics, mathematics, chemistry, biology, anatomy, medicine, astronomy, and space.

Kemp will delve into the captivating stories behind each iconic image, unveiling how they gained their revered status. He poses intriguing questions about generating images depicting the unseen, such as the COVID-19 virus or the rings of Saturn. He will explore the role of icons in scientific contexts and popular culture, shedding light on the common features that unite these powerful symbols by examining the prevalence of icons in specific scientific disciplines, like the potency of astronomy and space exploration imagery.

Finally, Kemp will reflect on the broader implications of iconic images, questioning their significance in society and the messages they convey about science in popular culture. From their practical applications in scientific communication to their impact on public perception, the importance of these iconic symbols becomes apparent.

This talk promises to give audiences a deeper appreciation for the visual language of science, urging them to consider the profound role that iconic images play in shaping our collective understanding of the world.

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As we’re always trying to understand more about you and our audiences at the Ri, you’ll notice we’ve introduced some optional questions when booking tickets. Please do take a moment to fill them in if you have the time.

And as we’re always trying to understand more about you our audiences at the Ri, you’ll notice we’ve introduced some optional questions when booking tickets. Please do take a moment to fill them in if you have the time.

Event image by BERK OZDEMIR via Pexels

Details

Date:
March 8
Time:
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm GMT
Event Category:
Register:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/icons-of-science-tickets-806685777877

Venue

The Royal Institution
21 Albemarle Street, London, W1S 4BS
London, W1S 4BS GB
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Organizer

The Royal Institution
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