Models: The Third Dimension of Science

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Stanford University Press, 2004 - Science - 464 pages
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Now that '3-D models are so often digital displays on flat screens, it is timely to look back at the solid models that were once the third dimension of science. This book is about wooden ships and plastic molecules, wax bodies and a perspex economy, monuments in cork and mathematics in plaster, casts of diseases, habitat dioramas, and extinct monsters rebuilt in bricks and mortar. These remarkable artefacts were fixtures of laboratories and lecture halls, studios and workshops, dockyards and museums. Considering such objects together for the first time, this interdisciplinary volume demonstrates how, in research as well as in teaching, 3-D models played major roles in making knowledge. Accessible and original chapters by leading scholars highlight the special properties of models, explore the interplay between representation in two dimensions and three, and investigate the shift to modelling with computers. The book is fascinating reading for anyone interested in the sciences, medicine, and technology, and in collections and museums.

 

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Contents

Dimensions of Modelling
1
Representing Invention Viewing Models
19
Plastic Anatomies and Artificial Dissections
43
Fish and Ships Models in the Age of Reason
71
Modelling Monuments and Excavations
109
Monsters at the Crystal Palace
138
Plastic Publishing in Embryology
170
Casting Skin Meanings for Doctors Artists and Patients
207
Mathematical Models
276
Science Art and Authenticity in Natural History Displays
307
Models and the Making of Molecular Biology
339
Secrets Hidden by TwoDimensionality The Economy as a Hydraulic Machine
369
From Model Kits to Interactive Computer Graphics
402
ThreeDimensional Models in Philosophical Perspective
433
Material Models as Visual Culture
443
Index
453

Molecules and Croquet Balls
242

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About the author (2004)

Soraya de Chadarevian is Senior Research Associate in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge. She is the author, most recently, of Designs for Life: Molecular Biology after World War II (2002). Nick Hopwood is Lecturer in the Department of History and Philosophy of Science, University of Cambridge. His publications include Embryos in Wax: Models from the Ziegler Studio (2002).

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